Oral bacteria manipulate your immune system

17 September 2013

Mouth

New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that the bacteria known for causing gum disease actually manipulates the body's immune system to disable normal processes that would otherwise destroy it!

The report shows that this pathogen prompts the production of anti-inflammatory molecules which in turn inhibit the function of T-cells which would otherwise help to protect the host from this particular microbial infection. The damage done by these bacteria occur when the immune cells of the host are first exposed to the pathogen, therefore making early diagnosis vital for the success of treatment.

The study highlights the mechanism by which bacteria can establish a chronic infection in the form of periodontal disease, it also demonstrates that these bacteria go beyond merely invading our body's defences and actually manipulate our immune systems for their own survival! It is hoped that this and  future studies will help in the development of new treatments that could prevent the chronic infection caused by periodontal pathogens.

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