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Humoral Immunity and Periodontal Diseases Program Project

Subproject II Immunization of M. fascicularis
Subproject III Significant antigens of selected periodontopathic bacteria

PI: Roy C. Page, D.D.S., Ph.D., Professor of Periodontics, Director RCDRC, Associate Dean, School of Dentistry, and Professor of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Washington

Work during the reporting year has focused on (1) determining which antigen/s of P. gingivalis are most likely to be responsible for induction of the protection we observed in our M. fascicularis model using a whole cell vaccine and (2) Immunization of M. fascicularis with the chosen antigen. Results of these studies are reported here in bullet form but are presented in much more detail in the final section of this annual report.

  • The whole cell P. gingivalis vaccine attenuates progression of periodontitis as assessed by alveolar bone loss in the M. fascicularis model. A study designed to confirm this observation will be completed in 1999.
  • One mechanism whereby immunization reduces alveolar bone loss may be antibody mediated reduction in levels of PGE2.
  • Rabbit data obtained with purified RGP and KGP indicate that immune responses induced and functional antibody activities are as good or better than seen with porphypain-2.
  • Of all of the P. gingivalis components studied, cysteine protease best meets the requirements as antigen in a protective periodontitis vaccine.
  • Although periodontitis in humans and in this animal model is a polymicrobial infection, immunization with a single species (P. gingivalis) or a purified P. gingivalis antigen (cysteine protease) provides protection and affects levels of P. gingivalis and other species in the flora.
  • Pilot study data demonstrate that immunization of M. fascicularis with porphypain-2 (which has both lysine- and arginine-specific proteolytic activities) induces specific opsonic IgG antibody, significantly reduces alveolar bone loss, reduces PGE2 levels in GCF and affects levels of P. gingivalis and other species in the sub-gingival flora.

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