Caister Academic Press

The Molecular Basis of Host-Pathogen Interaction in the Oral Cavity

Janina P. Lewis
from: Molecular Oral Microbiology (Edited by: Anthony H. Rogers). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


The interaction between oral microflora and eucaryotic cells is highly complex and involves active processes allowing both types of partners to co-exist. The microbial encounter with the host is initiated by attachment of the organism to the host; and bacterial surface proteins, termed "adhesins", mediate this step. Bacteria also secrete mediators that bind or invade the host. The microbial attachment, as well as the encounter with the secreted proteins, serve as signals that are deciphered through multi-mediator cascades ultimately affecting gene expression in the host. Many receptors recognizing the pathogens and mediating the host response, as well as the variety of microbial molecules triggering the host response, have been demonstrated. Also, the application of high-throughput microarray analyses have revealed that many more players remain to be investigated, as well as providing insight into the complex nature of the host- microbe interaction. The recent advances regarding both the host and microbial players involved in the host-pathogen dialogue, as well as possible mechanisms utilized by pathogenic bacteria to evade the host protective recognition mechanisms, will be discussed. Finally, new directions, with regard to the investigation of the molecular mechanisms of the host-pathogen interaction, are discussed. This includes genomic approaches to investigating host-pathogen interactions on a large scale read more ...
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