Serum antibodies to periodontal pathogens are related to allergic symptoms

Mi Du, Shulan Xu, Bingjiang Qiu, Shixian Hu, Geerten Has E. Tjakkes, An Li*, Shaohua Ge

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    41 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: The association between periodontitis and allergic symptoms has been investigated. However, the difference in immune signatures between them remains poorly understood. This cross-sectional study assessed the relationship between serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to periodontal pathogens and allergic symptoms in a nationwide population cohort.

    Methods: Two phases of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) were used as discovery dataset (n = 3700) and validation dataset (n = 4453), respectively. Based on the antibodies against 19 periodontal pathogens, we performed an unsupervised hierarchical clustering to categorize the population into three clusters. In the discovery dataset, cluster 1 (n = 2847) had the highest level of IgG antibodies, followed by clusters 2 (n = 588) and 3 (n = 265). Data on allergic symptoms (asthma, hay fever, and wheezing) were obtained using a self-reported questionnaire. Survey-weighted multivariable logistic regression evaluated the association between these clusters and allergic symptoms.

    Results: In the discovery dataset, the participants with lower levels of antibodies to periodontal pathogens exhibited a higher risk of asthma (odds ratio [OR]cluster 3 vs. cluster 1 = 1.820, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.153–2.873) and wheezing (ORcluster 3 vs. cluster 1 = 1.550, 95% CI: 1.095–2.194) compared to those with higher periodontal antibodies, but the non-significant association with hay fever. Consistent results were found in the validation dataset.

    Conclusions: Serum IgG titers to periodontal pathogens were inversely associated with the risk of asthma and wheezing, suggesting the potentially protective role against allergic conditions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)204-216
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Periodontology
    Issue number2
    Early online date12-Aug-2022
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-2023


    • allergic conditions
    • bacterial antibody
    • clustering analysis
    • IgG
    • NHANES
    • periodontal disease


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