Background/purpose: The association between herpetic/bacterial co-infection and periodontal diseases has been reported. However, how interactions between herpesviruses and periodontal bacteria dampen periodontal inflammation is still unclear. This study determined effects of co-infection with oral bacteria, including Streptococcus sanguinis, Fusobacterium nucleatum or Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)-infected oral epithelial cells. Methods: Cell viability was determined by detection the activity of mitochondrial dehydrogenase. Viral production was measured using the plaque assay. Levels of bacterial and viral DNA were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 was measured using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Viability was not further reduced by bacterial co-infection in HSV-1-infected cells. Co-infection with HSV-1 and S. sanguinis or F. nucleatum reduced the viral yield whereas co-infection with HSV-1 and A. actinomycetemcomitans significantly enhanced the viral yield in oral epithelial cells. The enhancing effect of A. actinomycetemcomitans was not affected by bacterial heat-inactivation. Co-infection with HSV-1/A. actinomycetemcomitans increased intracellular levels of both viral and bacterial DNA. Secretion of IL-6 and IL-8 stimulated by A. actinomycetemcomitans infection was partly reduced by co-infection with HSV-1 in oral epithelial cells. Conclusion: In contrast to S. sanguinis and F. nucleatum, A. actinomycetemcomitans enhanced the yield of HSV-1. Either HSV-1 or A. actinomycetemcomitans may be benefited from co-infection, in aspects of increases in production of viral and bacterial DNA as well as reductions in cytokine secretion. These findings echoed with previous clinical studies showing co-infection of HSV and A. actinomycetemcomitans in patients with aggressive periodontitis.
- Aggregatibacter actinomyce-temcomitans
- Fusobacterium nucleatum
- Herpes simplex virus type 1
- Oral epithelial cells
- Streptococcus sanguinis