Collagenase is a potential virulence factor shown to be expressed by Porphyromonas gingivalis associated with periodontal disease. The purpose of this study was to use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect the presence of the collagenase gene (prtC) in 21 strains of Porphyromonas species isolated from endodontic infections. Type strains for P. gingivalis (ATCC 33277), P. endodontalis (ATCC 35406), Prevotella intermedia (ATCC 25611), and Prevotella nigrescens (ATCC 33563) were used as controls. When PCR primers specific for the 16S ribosomal RNA gene of P. gingivalis or P. endodontalis were used, 16 of the strains were identified as P. gingivalis, and five strains were identified as P. endodontalis. The presence of the prtC gene for collagenase was detected using PCR. Amplicons were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis, with an 815 bp amplicon representing the presence of the collagenase gene. Type strain ATCC 33277 and all 16 clinical isolates of P. gingivalis produced the collagenase gene amplicon. Neither type strain ATCC 35406 nor the five strains from clinical isolates of P. endodontalis produced the collagenase gene amplicon. These results indicate that P. gingivalis from endodontic infections possesses the prtC gene. P. endodontalis does not seem to exhibit prtC. The virulence of P. gingivalis may be related to its production of collagenase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas