Recent microbiological studies support the concept that specific gram negative bacteria play a major role in the etiology and pathogenesis of human chronic inflammatory periodontal disease. Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans has been isolated frequently from juvenile periodontitis and Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to be a prominent species in adult periodontitis in humans. The purpose of this study was to determine levels of the specific antibodies to A.actinomycetemcomitans and P.gingivalis in 17 patients with juvenile and 15 patients with adult periodontitis and 24 healthy subjects. IgG and IgM antibody titers against these antigens were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The levels of antibodies against A.actinomycetemcomitans were significantly higher in the juvenile periodontitis compared to the adult periodontitis patients and controls. Anti-P.gingivalis antibodies were elevated in adult periodontitis compared to juvenile periodontitis patients and controls.