The etiology and pathogenic mechanisms associated with canine periodontal disease are less well understood than the disease in humans. In this study we have reconstructed defined consortia biofilms in vitro of microorganisms identified as prevalent in a same-breed cohort of dogs with or without periodontal disease. Frederiksenia canicola and Neisseria canis were selected as potential early colonizers of salivary pellicle, and Fusobacterium nucleatum and Porphyromonas gulae were included as high incidence canine oral bacteria. N. canis formed a biofilm substratum under aerobic conditions, but was unable to tolerate anaerobic conditions. Fr. canicola exhibited synergistic biofilm growth with Po. gulae under anaerobic conditions, but displayed an antagonistic relationship with Fu. nucleatum. However, strong co-adhesion between Fu. nucleatum and Po. gulae was able to overcome the inhibitory effects of Fr. canicola to facilitate three-species biofilm formation. Parvimonas micra, an anaerobic, asaccharolytic Gram-positive coccus found only under disease conditions in vivo, was able to form biofilms in conjunction with Fr. canicola and Po. gulae. Furthermore, the specific proteolytic activities of biofilms containing Fr. canicola and Po. gulae or Fu. nucleatum and Po. gulae were increased several-fold upon the addition of Pa. micra. This suggests that anaerobic cocci such as Pa. micra might provide a catalyst for progressive tissue destruction, inflammation and alveolar bone loss in canine periodontal disease, in keeping with the keystone-pathogen hypothesis.
- Parvimonas micra
- Porphyromonas gulae