New research at the University of Michigan found that people with certain antibodies are at a lower risk for periodontal disease, the ADA reported in a news article.
"The antibody is to a protein called HtpG, of the bug Porphyromonas gingivalis, [which is] an important pathogen in periodontal disease," the ADA stated.
"Anti-P. gingivalis HtpG antibodies are protective and ... may augment the host defence to periodontitis," the researchers wrote. They also noted that "a unique peptide of P. gingivalis HtpG offers significant potential as an effective diagnostic target and vaccine candidate."
According to the ADA, the researchers found that the HtpG antibodies were present at lower levels in people with chronic and aggressive periodontal disease and at higher levels in healthy subjects. Also, periodontal therapy was more successful in subjects with higher levels of HtpG antibodies before periodontal treatment.
The study, "Serum Antibodies to Porphyromonas Gingivalis Chaperone HtpG Predict Health in Periodontitis Susceptible Patients" (PLoS ONE 3(4): e1984), was funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.