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Oral Microbiology research highlighted by BDJ

Treponema denticola

Treponema denticola

1 April 2012

Recent research from the School’s Oral Microbiology Group into microbial communities found in dental plaque has been highlighted by the British Dental Journal

The BDJ News Section highlights top quality research from throughout the UK that is of interest to the Dental community. It is therefore a significant achievement that a recent study published in journal Microbiology by members of the Oral Microbiology group has been selected to appear in the BDJ March issue.

The work, performed by PhD student Valentina Cogoni under the supervision of Professor Howard Jenkinson and Dr Dave Dymock, investigated how oral pathogen Treponema denticola can cause gum disease. They showed that a molecule on the surface of Treponema called CTLP acts as the key pass that grants the bacterium access to the dental plaque community, allowing it to latch onto other oral bacteria. Once incorporated, CTLP, in conjunction with other bacterial molecules, can then start to wreak havoc by inhibiting blood clotting (leading to continued bleeding of the gums) and causing tissue destruction. It is hoped that CTLP will be a good target from which novel therapies against periodontal disease could be developed, and the team is now working to find a compound that will inhibit CTLP.

• Cogoni V, Morgan-Smith A, Fenno J C, Jenkinson H F, Dymock D. Treponema denticola chymotrypsin-like proteinase (CTLP) integrates spirochaetes within oral microbial communities. Microbiology 2012; Feb 7 [Epub ahead of print]

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