Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Influence of culture conditions on porphyrin production in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis

Fyrestam, Jonas; Bjurshammar, Nadja; Paulsson, Elin; Mansouri, Nesrine; Johannsen, Annsofi; Ostman, Conny


Background: Increasing antibiotic resistance among pathogens has raised the demands for new treatment methods such as antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) and phototherapy (PT). Experiments for investigating the effects of these methods are often performed in vitro, but the procedures for cultivation of microbes vary between different studies. The aim of this study has been to elucidate how the profile of endogenously produced porphyrins differs by changing the variables of bacteria culturing conditions.Methods: Two oral pathogens, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonasgingivalis, were selected as model organisms. The contents of porphyrins and heme in the bacteria were analysed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry when bacteria was cultivated for different lengths of time (3-9 days), upon passaging as well as when growth medium were supplemented with or without horse blood.Results: Both porphyrin and heme content in A. actinomycetemcomitans are highly affected by the age of the culture, and that the porphyrin profiles changes during cultivation. When cultivated colonies of A. actinomycetemcomitans were passaged onto a new, fresh growth medium a large change in porphyrin content occurred. Additional porphyrins were detected; uroporphyrin and 7-carboxylporphyrin, and the total porphyrin content increased up to 28 times, When P. gingivalis was grown on blood containing medium higher concentrations of protoporphyrin IX (2.5 times) and heme (5.4 times) were quantified compared to bacteria grown without blood.Conclusions: This study demonstrate that there is a need for more standardized culturing protocols when performing aPDT and PT experiments in vitro to avoid large variations in porphyrin profiles and concentrations, the aPDT/PT target compounds, depending on the culturing conditions. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Porphyrins; Oral bacteria; Dental biofilm; Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy; Phototherapy; Growth conditions

Published in

Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
2017, Volume: 17, pages: 115-123

    UKÄ Subject classification


    Publication Identifiers


    Permanent link to this page (URI)