Oral microbial colonization in patients with systemic lupus erythematous: correlation with treatment and disease activity
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Treating patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with steroids and immunosuppressive drugs may interfere in the presence of potentially opportunistic microorganisms in the oral cavity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of Candida spp., Staphylococcus spp., Enterobacteria and Pseudomonas spp. in the oral cavity of SLE patients, compared with healthy controls. A group of 40 patients who had received therapy for at least 60 days was selected (19-53 years). For the control group, 40 healthy individuals matched for age, gender and use of partial prosthesis were selected. Oral rinse samples were collected and plated on specific culture media. After incubation, the number of colony forming units (CFU) was obtained and the isolates were identified at species level. Microbial counts were compared between SLE and control by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Mann-Whitney (p < 0.05 significant). Microorganism counts in patients with and without immunosuppressive drugs, as well with active and inactive disease (according to SLEDAI score) were also compared. No significant differences in CFU/mL between SLE and control patients were observed (yeasts, p = 0.55; Staphylococci, p = 0.24; Enterobacteria/Pseudomonas spp., p = 0.26). No differences in microbial counts were observed regarding clinical parameters tested. The most frequent species isolated in the SLE group were Candida albicans, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Klebsiella oxytoca. In conclusion, no differences in frequency and microorganism levels were found between SLE patients and healthy individuals. Lupus (2012) 21, 969-977.
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