Scientists have developed a therapeutic dental vaccine which could eliminate the need for surgery and antibiotics for severe gum disease.
A team of dental scientists at the Oral Health CRC at the University of Melbourne has been working on a vaccine for chronic periodontitis for the past 15 years with industry partner CSL.
Clinical trials on periodontitis patients could potentially begin in 2018.
The vaccine targets enzymes produced by the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, to trigger an immune response. This response produces antibodies that neutralise the pathogen’s destructive toxins.
P. gingivalis is known as a keystone pathogen, which means it has the potential to distort the balance of microorganisms in dental plaque, causing disease.