Objectives :

To investigate the prevalence of the bacterial genes encoding resistance to beta-lactams, tetracyclines and metronidazole respectively, in subjects with successful and failing dental implants and to assess the presence of Staphylococcus aureus and the mecA gene encoding for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the same samples.

Materials and Methodology:

The subject sample included 20 participants with clinically healthy osseointegrated implants and 20 participants with implants exhibiting peri-implantitis. Clinical parameters were assessed with an automated probe, samples were collected from the peri-implant sulcus or pocket and analyzed with Polymerase Chain Reaction for blaTEM, tetM, tetQ and nim genes, S. aureus and MRSA using primers and conditions previously described in the literature.


Findings have shown high frequencies of detection for both groups for the tetracycline resistance genes tetM (>30%), tetQ (>65%) with no statistical differences between them (z-test with Bonferroni corrections, p<0.05). The blaTEM gene, which encodes resistance to beta-lactams, was detected in <15% of the samples. The nim gene, which encodes resistance to metronidazole, S.aureus and the mecA gene encoding for MRSA were not detected in any of the analyzed samples.


Healthy peri-implant sulci and peri-implantitis cases often harbor bacterial genes encoding for resistance to the tetracyclines and less often for beta-lactams. Thus, the antimicrobial activity of the tetracyclines and to a lower extent to beta-lactams, might be compromised for treatment of peri-implantitis. Since no metronidazole resistance genes were detected in the present study, its clinical use is supported by the current findings. S.aureus may not participate in peri-implant pathology.

Keyword: Dental implants, antibiotics, bacterial resistance genes, peri-implantitis. .
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