Caister Academic Press

Molecular Windows into the Pathogenic Properties of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans: A Status Report with a View to the Future

Daniel H. Fine, David Figurski, Scott Kachlany and Jeffrey Kaplan
from: Molecular Oral Microbiology (Edited by: Anthony H. Rogers). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Three lines of evidence implicate Aa as an oral pathogen; 1) virulence factors established at the genetic level that affect; attachment to soft and hard tissues, and interference with both innate and acquired arms of host defense, 2) a powerful association of Aa with localized aggressive periodontitis in young adolescents, and 3) prospective evidence that Aa initiates bone loss in an animal model. The chapter will review; 1) molecular proofs that have provided evidence of Aa genes that are critical for its pathogenic nature. In addition the chapter will describe new strategies designed to reflect complex bacterial-host interactions. It is suggested that these new approaches may help to develop insights into the role of Aa in disease initiation and progression as well as its role in adaptation to its host. The chapter concludes with a recommendation that our focus on eliminating bacteria might profit from a shift toward exploration of bacterial strategies for adaptation and survival in the environment of the human host. The lessons learned from this paradigm shift might serve to allow us to gain a better understanding of the beneficial outcomes derived from the lives we share with bacteria read more ...
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