Investigation of Filifactor alocis in primary and in secondary endodontic infections: A molecular study
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Objective: Identification of specific bacteria in root canals (RCs) in distinct clinical conditions can support the comprehension of pathological processes. Thus, the objective of this clinical study was to investigate the presence of F. alocis in RCs of teeth with primary endodontic infection (PEI) and with persistent/secondary endodontic infection (SEI) by using molecular techniques. It was also aimed to associate its presence with the clinical features. In addition, the levels of F. alocis as well as the total bacterial cells in the samples were also quantitated. Design: One hundred teeth (50 PEI and 50 SEI) were included. Microbial samples were performed using sterile paper points and assessed by using nested PCR and quantitative Real Time PCR (qPCR). The prevalence of F.alocis in RCs from PEI and SEI were compared by chi-square analysis. Fisher´s exact test or Pearson Chi-square, when appropriate, was used to test associations between clinical and radiographic features and the presence of F. alocis. Significance level was set at 5%. Results: F. alocis was detected in 23 and 28 (PEI) and 12 and 11 (SEI) RCs using Nested PCR and qPCR, respectively. Statistically significant associations were found between the presence of F. alocis and PEI, pain, wet canals, swelling, abscess and purulent exudate (P < 0.05). Total bacterial count was similar in both conditions (P > 0.05). Conclusions: PEI harbour a significantly higher number of F. alocis than those with SEI. Filifactor alocis was significantly associated with clinical features in primary endodontic infections. Total bacterial count was similar in both clinical conditions.