METHODOLOGY: The "Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses" (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. Six databases were systematically searched using Medical Subject Headings/Index and Entree terms. After a thorough screening, fourteen publications spanning over ten years (2007-2017) were eligible for this systematic review and meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Out of 14 included studies, 12 reported presence of periodontal bacterial DNA in coronary atherosclerotic plaque specimens. Overall, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were the most frequently detected periodontal bacterial species. Meta-analysis revealed that the prevalence of P. gingivalis was significantly higher than A. actinomycetemcomitans in coronary atheromatous plaque samples. Apart from periodontal microbes, DNA from a variety of other microbes e.g. Pseudomonas fluorescens, Streptococcus species, Chlamydia pneumoniae were also recovered from the collected samples.
CONCLUSION: Consistent detection of periodontal bacterial DNA in coronary atheroma suggests their systemic dissemination from periodontal sites. It should further be investigated whether they are merely bystanders or induce any structural changes within coronary arterial walls.