The incidence of oral Gram-negative bacteria in patients with Parkinson's disease
Gosney, M. A., Punekar, S., Playfer, J.R., Bilsborrow, P.K. and Martin, M.V. (2004) The incidence of oral Gram-negative bacteria in patients with Parkinson's disease. European Journal of Internal Medicine, 14 (8). pp. 484-487. ISSN 0953-6205
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ejim.2003.09.009
Background: Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder that affects an increasing number of older people every year. Dysphagia is not only a common feature, but one that results in poor nutrition and an increased risk of bronchopneumonia. Previous work has suggested that the oral flora is altered in patients with oral pathology. Methods: Fifty patients were assessed to quantify the incidence of oral Gram-negative bacteria. Results: Sixteen of the patients with Parkinson's disease were found to have six different Gram-negative bacilli in their oral cavities. The 20 different Gram-negative bacteria present were Escherichia coli (n=7), Klebsiella spp. (n=3), Kluyvera spp. (n=3), Serratia spp. (n=3), Proteus spp. (n=2) and Enterobacter spp. (n=2). We found that the oral cavity of 16 (32%) of the patients with Parkinson's disease was abnormally colonised with Gram-negative bacteria and that Gram-negative bacteria were more likely to occur in those patients in whom oromuscular dysfunction was present (88% vs. 21%; p<0.05). Conclusion: Further work is required to determine the association between oral flora and the pathogenic organisms found in aspiration pneumonia as well as work on innovative treatments to reduce oral Gram-negative bacteria in those patients at particular risk of aspiration pneumonia.