Effect of Periodontal Infection on Birth Weight of Infants: A Clinical and Microbiological Study*


Background: Maternal periodontal infection has been proposed to influence pre-term delivery and low birth weight infants through mechanisms involving inflammatory mediators or direct bacterial assault on the amnion. Thus, the aim of the present study was to assess the presence of periodontal pathogens in maternal periodontal infection and their effect on the birth weight of infants. Materials and Methods: The case-control study included 30 mothers with a singleton gestation and gestational age of >37 weeks. Data regarding the periodontal status, pregnancy outcome variables, hemoglobin levels (Hb%) and other factors that may influence adverse pregnancy outcomes were collected. A qualitative analysis of the predominant anaerobic organisms was conducted. The data was analysed using one-way ANOVA test and Scheffe’s test. Results: The microbiological results showed that prevalent colonies of organisms isolated from the experimental groups were of Bacteroides spp. (n = 3), Fusobacterium spp. (n = 3) and Peptostreptococcus spp. (n = 9). In the control group, Peptostreptococcus spp. (n = 15) were predominant. In the experimental group, it was seen that Bacteroides spp. (p = 0.003) and Fusobacterium spp. (p = 0.050) were statistically significant with the birth weight of the infant. The one-way ANOVA test showed that the birth weight of the infant was inversely proportionate with increase in severity of the periodontal disease. Scheffe’s test showed that presence of a periodontal pocket showed most significance to the birth weight of an infant as compared to presence of local factors or bleeding on probing. Conclusion: The study revealed that the gram negative organisms, Bacteroides spp. and Fusobacterium spp. were significantly associated with the low birth weight (LBW) of the infants, although there was not a significant difference in the clinical periodontal status between the experimental groups and the controls. It could be proposed that specific groups of pathogens may have a contributory role in the risk of LBW.

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S. Kothiwale and M. Gandhi, "Effect of Periodontal Infection on Birth Weight of Infants: A Clinical and Microbiological Study*," Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 100-104. doi: 10.4236/ojmm.2013.32016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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