Relevance of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats of Enterococcus faecalis strains isolated from retreatment root canals on periapical lesions, resistance to irrigants and biofilms
- Zhongchun Tong
- Yu Du
- Junqi Ling
- Lijia Huang
- Jinglei Ma
Published online on: September 27, 2017
A high prevalence of Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) is observed in teeth with root canal treatment failures. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) are widely distributed in prokaryotes that have adaptive immune systems against mobile elements, including pathogenic genes. The present study investigated the relevance of the CRISPR in E. faecalis strains isolated from retreated root canals on biofilms, periapical lesions and drug resistance. A total of 20 E. faecalis strains were extracted from the root canals of teeth referred for root canal retreatment. CRISPR‑Cas loci were identified by two pairs of relevant primers and polymerase chain reaction. The susceptibility of the 20 isolated strains to intracanal irrigants was evaluated by 1‑ and 5‑minute challenges with a mixture of a tetracycline isomer, an acid and a detergent (MTAD), 2% chlorhexidine (CHX) and 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl). The microtiter plate assay and crystal violet staining were used to compare the biofilm formation of the E. faecalis isolate strains. Out of the 20 E. faecalis isolate strains, 5 strains that lacked CRISPR‑cas determinants exhibited significant periapical lesions. Among the 15 strains containing CRISPR‑cas determinants, 8 were isolated from root canals with inadequate fillings and 7 were isolated from root canals without any fillings. The five strains lacking CRISPR‑cas loci were observed to be more resistant to MTAD and 2% CHX than the 15 strains that had CRISPR‑cas loci. All of the strains exhibited the same susceptibility to 5.25% NaOCl. Furthermore, the 5 strains lacking CRISPR‑cas determinants generated more biofilm than the other 15 strains. Thus, the results of the present study suggested that E. faecalis root canal isolates lacking CRISPR‑cas exhibit higher resistance to intracanal irrigants, stronger biofilm formation and generate significant periapical lesions.