Background: /Purposes: Studies have indicated that salivary molecules from patients with periodontitis and diabetes are confounded with pathological conditions associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The study aimed to address whether the abundance of Porphyromonas gingivalis which causes periodontitis, differed compared with that of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (used as control) and to analyze the correlation of periodontitis with the expression levels of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 receptor (ACE2) and periodontitis inflammatory markers (TLR-2/TLR-4, TNFα, and miR-155). Materials and Methods: A saliva sample (5 mL) was obtained from 23 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, categorized into two groups: diabetic (G1, n = 10) and non-diabetic (G2, n = 13). Saliva from patients with periodontitis without diabetes and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; n = 6) were included as control. The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction measured the levels of P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans, as well as periodontitis markers in saliva. The obtained data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and the Spearman correlation test. Results: The abundance of P. gingivalis was observed to be higher (p < 0.05) in saliva of patients with diabetes (G1) than in those without diabetes (G2). A contradictory trend was observed for A. actinomycetemcomitans. The transcription level of ACE2 was comparable in all groups tested, while the expression of periodontitis markers varied. The relationships and sensitivity/specificity among P. gingivalis infection ACE2 expression, and inflammatory markers were also evaluated. Conclusions: This study showed that the association between P. gingivalis infection and ACE2 expression might reflect the characteristics of saliva in COVID-19 patients with and without diabetes. However, the relationships between TLR-4 and miR-155 are more specific in discriminating against COVID-19 patients with and without diabetes.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
- Porphyromonas gingivalis