Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (previously Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans) is a Gram-negative, facultative nonmotile, rod-shaped oral commensal often found in association with localized aggressive periodontitis, a severe infection of the periodontium, although it is also associated with nonoral infections. Its role in periodontitis was first discovered by Danish-born periodontist Jørgen Slots, a professor of dentistry and microbiology at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry.
'Bacterium actinomycetem comitans' was described by Klinger (1912) as coccobacillary bacteria isolated together with Actinomyces from actinomycotic lesions of man. It was reclassified as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans by Topley & Wilson (1929) and as Haemophilus actinomycetemcomitans by Potts et al. (1985). The species has attracted attention because of its association with localized aggressive periodontitis.
It is one of the bacteria that might be implicated in destructive periodontal disease. Although it has been found more frequently in localized aggressive periodontitis, prevalence in any population is rather high. It has also been isolated from actinomycotic lesions (mixed infection with certain Actinomyces species, in particular A. israelii). It possesses certain virulence factors that enable it to invade tissues, such as leukotoxin. It has also been isolated from women with bacterial vaginosis.
- Leukotoxin; kills PMNs and monocytes
- Cytolethal distending toxin
- Immunosuppression factors that inhibit blastogenesis, antibody production and activate T-suppressor cells
- Inhibition of PMNs functions
- Resistant to complement-mediated killing
- Surface antigens
- Heat shock proteins
- Antimicrobial resistance
A. actinomycetemcomitans serotypes
- a strain, for example ATCC 29523, frequently in oral cavity, variable leukotoxin expression
- b strain Y4, most frequently in localized aggressive periodontitis, leukotoxin expression
- c strain ATCC 33384, low leukotoxin
- serotypes d, e
- Nørskov-Lauritsen N; Kilian M (September 2006). "Reclassification of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Haemophilus aphrophilus, Haemophilus paraphrophilus and Haemophilus segnis as Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans gen. nov., comb. nov., Aggregatibacter aphrophilus comb. nov. and Aggregatibacter segnis comb. nov., and emended description of Aggregatibacter aphrophilus to include V factor-dependent and V factor-independent isolates". Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 56 (Pt 9): 2135–46. doi:10.1099/ijs.0.64207-0. PMID 16957111.
- Slots J (January 1976). "The predominant cultivable organisms in juvenile periodontitis". Scand J Dent Res 84 (1): 1–10. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0722.1976.tb00454.x. PMID 1061986.
- Africa, Charlene; Nel, Janske; Stemmet, Megan (2014). "Anaerobes and Bacterial Vaginosis in Pregnancy: Virulence Factors Contributing to Vaginal Colonisation". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11 (7): 6979–7000. doi:10.3390/ijerph110706979. ISSN 1660-4601. PMC 4113856. PMID 25014248.