Vaccine against Dental Caries- An Urgent Need
Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination
Dental caries, the disease that causes tooth decay, is infectious, and the mutans streptococci bacteria have long been identified as the primary disease-causing agents. Most treatments are now aimed at either elimination of this bacterium or suppression of its virulence. Thanks to numerous scientific advances, tooth decay is not as rampant as it once was, but it is still five times more common in children than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. And about 25% of the population
... f the population (in the United States) carries about 80% of the disease burden. So it is still a serious problem, especially for those populations who are very young, very old, economically disadvantaged, chronically ill, or institutionalized. Contemporary research is aimed at evolving a potent and effective caries vaccine to prevent dental caries. Various experimental trials have been conducted utilizing rat and primate models with protein antigens derived from S. mutans or S. sobrinus to prevent oral colonization by S. mutans and subsequent dental caries. Numerous strategies have been developed to induce high levels of salivary antibodies that can persist for prolonged periods and to establish immune memory by through different routes of administration. Therefore elimination of caries is the main objective of the health professionals. Still more clinical trials are needed to evaluate the safety of these vaccines so that potential risks are eliminated.