Searching for Archaea in infections of endodontic origin

J. F. Siqueira, I. N. Rôças, J. C. Baumgartner, T. Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Archaea is a highly diverse group of prokaryotes, whose members have been traditionally recognized as extremophiles. Recently, some of these microorganisms have also been found to thrive in nonextreme environments, including the human body. Methanogenic archaea have been detected in samples from subgingival plaque associated with periodontal disease and a pathogenetic role is suspected. The purpose of this study was to survey samples taken from different types of endodontic infections for the presence of archaea. Samples were taken from untreated and treated root canals associated with asymptomatic chronic periradicular lesions as well as from cases diagnosed as acute periradicular abscesses. Overall, 96 samples were obtained. DNA from samples was extracted by using two different protocols and used as template for polymerase chain reaction amplification using oligonucleotide universal primers for the domains Archaea or Bacteria. Samples were also checked for the presence of spirochetes by making use of a group-specific primer. While bacteria were present in all samples, no case yielded archaeal DNA. Spirochetes occurred in a high number of cases. Our findings suggested that members of the Archaea domain are not members of the microbiota present in different types of endodontic infections and thereby may not be implicated in the etiology of apical periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-722
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Apical periodontitis
  • Archaea
  • Endodontic infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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