Drug may guard against periodontitis, and related chronic diseases

November 08, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - November 7, 2013 - A drug currently used to treat intestinal worms could protect people from periodontitis, an advanced gum disease, which untreated can erode the structures--including bone--that hold the teeth in the jaw. The research was published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Current treatment for periodontitis involves scraping dental plaque, which is a polymicrobial biofilm, off of the root of the tooth. Despite this unpleasant and costly ordeal, the biofilm frequently grows back. But the investigators showed in an animal model of periodontitis that the drug Oxantel inhibits this growth by interfering with an enzyme that bacteria require for biofilm formation, says corresponding author Eric Reynolds, of the University of Melbourne, Australia. It does so in a dose-dependent manner, indicating efficacy.

The researchers began their search for a therapy for periodontitis by studying the symbioses of the periodontal pathogens, using genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, in animal models of periodontitis. They soon found that the periodontal biofilm depended for growth on the availability of iron and heme (an iron-containing molecule related to hemoglobin), and that restricting these reduced levels of the enzyme, fumarate reductase. Since Oxantel was known to inhibit fumarate reductase in some bacteria, they then successfully tested its ability to inhibit fumarate reductase activity in Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the major bacterial components of periodontitis biofilms. Fumarate reductase is absent from humans, making it an ideal drug target.

They also showed that Oxantel disrupted the growth of polymicrobial biofilms containing P. gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola, a typical composition of periodontal biofilms, despite the fact that the latter alone is unaffected by Oxantel.

The researchers found that treatment with Oxantel downregulated six P. gingivalis gene products, and upregulated 22 gene products, all of which are part of a regulon (a genetic unit) that controls availability of heme.

Periodontitis affects an estimated 30-47 percent of the adult population with severe forms affecting 5-10 percent. It also increases the risks of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and dementia, says Reynolds. These risks arise due to the pathogenic bacteria that enter the blood stream from periodontitis, as well as from the chronic inflammation caused by this disease, he says. Additionally, periodontitis correlates with increased risk of cancers of the head and neck, the esophagus, the tongue, and the pancreas, the investigators report.
-end-
The article can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip1111a.

"Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide."

American Society for Microbiology

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.