Fundamental mechanisms of immune response to oral bacteria and the main perspectives of a vaccine against dental caries: A brief review
AbstractDental caries may be defined as a complex multifatorial disease in that a broad group of biological, socio-economic and cultural factors interact directly or indirectly in the establishment and colonization of cariogenic microorganisms within the microbial community of the dental biofilm. Innate and adaptative immunity are two fundamental aspects of the immune system response against infections, such as dental caries. Besides, the majority of pathogenic infectious agents enter the organisms by the oral route. Consequently, the mucosal tissue, associated exocrine glands and saliva contributes to the protection of the oral cavity because contain cells responsible for antigen internalization and antibodies specific to oral bacteria. Macrophages are phagocytic cells that can internalize and kill bacteria by several mechanisms of internalization, including endocytosis, macropinocytosis and phagocytosis. Streptococcus mutans is the major pathogen of dental caries due to its ability to adhere and accumulate on tooth surfaces, using different virulence factors (AgI/II, Gtf, Gbps). Recent studies demonstrated protection against experimentally induced dental caries for vaccines containing intact or peptides from antigen I/II, Gtf or Gbp and vaccines containing a combination of antigens. The present review summarizes the fundamental mechanisms of host immune responses to oral bacteria and the main perspectives of a vaccine against dental caries
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