Treponema denticola

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Treponema denticola
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Bacteria
Phylum: Spirochaetes
Order: Spirochaetales
Family: Spirochaetaceae
Genus: Treponema
T. denticola
Binomial name
Treponema denticola
(ex Flügge 1886) Chan et al. 1993[1]

Treponema denticola is a Gram-negative, obligate anaerobic, motile and highly proteolytic spirochete bacterium. It dwells in a complex and diverse microbial community within the oral cavity and is highly specialized to survive in this environment. T. denticola is associated with the incidence and severity of human periodontal disease. Having elevated T. denticola levels in the mouth is considered one of the main etiological agents of periodontitis.[2][3] T. denticola is related to the syphilis-causing obligate human pathogen, Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. It has also been isolated from women with bacterial vaginosis.[4]


The first genome of T. denticola to be sequenced was strain 35405 which was initially isolated and designated as the type strain by Chan et al.[5] The 2,843,201-bp genome sequence encodes 2,786􏴲 open reading frames (ORFs) as well a 6 rRNAs and 44 tRNAs. This is in stark contrast to the minimal genome of Treponema pallidum which encodes only 1,040 ORFs.[6]

Cell structure[edit]

The native cellular architecture of the bacterial cell was revealed using cryo-electron tomography, a technique observing intact plunge-frozen cells.[7] Tightly organized bundles of periplasmic flagella were observed in the periplasm, a characteristic of spirochetes. The tapering of the cell ends, conserved between cells, encompass a patella-shaped structure observed in the periplasm at the cell tip. This structure might be involved in the polar attachment of the cells.[8] Cytoplasmic filaments, a bacterial intermediate-like filaments composed of the protein CfpA, are adjacent to the inner membrane and run parallel to the tightly organized flagellar filaments.[7][9] Those cytoplasmic filaments are critical for pathogenicity, directly or indirectly as they are also involved in chromosome structure, segregation, or the cell division processes.[10][11] The absence of either flagella or cytoplasmic filaments in deficient mutant increase the mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro uptake.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parte, A.C. "Treponema".
  2. ^ Marie-Claude Jobin, Mohsen Amin, Richard P. Ellen (2008). "Chapter 8 - The Molecular Biology of the Survival and Virulence of Treponema denticola". In Anthony H. Rogers (eds.). Molecular Oral Microbiology. Caister Academic Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-904455-24-0.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Simonson LG, Goodman CH, Bial JJ, Morton HE (April 1988). "Quantitative relationship of Treponema denticola to severity of periodontal disease". Infection and Immunity. 56 (4): 726–8. PMID 3346072.
  4. ^ Africa CW, Nel J, Stemmet M (July 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. PMC 4113856. PMID 25014248.
  5. ^ Chan EC, Siboo R, Keng T, Psarra N, Hurley R, Cheng SL, Iugovaz I (April 1993). "Treponema denticola (ex Brumpt 1925) sp. nov., nom. rev., and identification of new spirochete isolates from periodontal pockets". International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. 43 (2): 196–203. doi:10.1099/00207713-43-2-196. PMID 8494734.
  6. ^ Seshadri R, Myers GS, Tettelin H, Eisen JA, Heidelberg JF, Dodson RJ, et al. (April 2004). "Comparison of the genome of the oral pathogen Treponema denticola with other spirochete genomes". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 101 (15): 5646–51. doi:10.1073/pnas.0307639101. PMC 397461. PMID 15064399.
  7. ^ a b Izard J, Hsieh CE, Limberger RJ, Mannella CA, Marko M (July 2008). "Native cellular architecture of Treponema denticola revealed by cryo-electron tomography". Journal of Structural Biology. 163 (1): 10–7. doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2008.03.009. PMC 2519799. PMID 18468917.
  8. ^ Ellen RP, Dawson JR, Yang PF (April 1994). "Treponema denticola as a model for polar adhesion and cytopathogenicity of spirochetes". Trends in Microbiology. 2 (4): 114–9. PMID 8012753.
  9. ^ Izard J, McEwen BF, Barnard RM, Portuese T, Samsonoff WA, Limberger RJ (February 2004). "Tomographic reconstruction of treponemal cytoplasmic filaments reveals novel bridging and anchoring components". Molecular Microbiology. 51 (3): 609–18. PMID 14731266.
  10. ^ Izard J, Sasaki H, Kent R (2012). "Pathogenicity of Treponema denticola Wild-Type and Mutant Strain Tested by an Active Mode of Periodontal Infection Using Microinjection". International Journal of Dentistry. 2012: 549169. doi:10.1155/2012/549169. PMC 3398590. PMID 22829826.
  11. ^ Izard J, Samsonoff WA, Limberger RJ (February 2001). "Cytoplasmic filament-deficient mutant of Treponema denticola has pleiotropic defects". Journal of Bacteriology. 183 (3): 1078–84. CiteSeerX doi:10.1128/JB.183.3.1078-1084.2001. PMID 11208807.
  12. ^ Gaibani P, Vocale C, Ambretti S, Cavrini F, Izard J, Miragliotta L, Pellegrino MT, Sambri V (May 2010). "Killing of Treponema denticola by mouse peritoneal macrophages". Journal of Dental Research. 89 (5): 521–6. doi:10.1177/0022034510363105. PMC 2868591. PMID 20200417.