Tag Archives | bacteria

Bacterium goes from the mouth to the heart to cause disease

The human mouth can have more than 700 different species of bacteria. Under normal circumstances these microbes co-exist as part of our resident oral microbiota but when they spread to other tissues via the blood stream, the results can be catastrophic. Researchers from the University of Bristol have revealed a potentially key molecular process that occurs in the case of infective endocarditis, a type of cardiovascular disease in which bacteria cause unwanted blood clots to form on heart valves. If untreated, this condition is fatal and even with treatment, mortality rates are high. There are over 2,000 cases of infective endocarditis in the United Kingdom (UK) annually and the amount is rising. The research involved the use of the UK national synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source. Using this giant X-ray microscope the team was able to visualise the structure and […]

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Can you fight cavities by taking a pill?

Researches from the University of Florida have have identified a new strain of bacteria in the mouth that may keep bad bacteria in check. They believe this could lead to the development of a supplement (a probiotic) that patients could take orally to prevent cavities. While developing an effective oral probiotic will require more research, a possible candidate organism has been identified: a previously unidentified strain of Streptococcus. To maintain a healthy mouth the oral environment must have a relatively neutral pH. When the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, dental cavities can develop. At this point bacteria on the teeth make acid and acid dissolves the teeth. Researchers were aware that bacteria were responsible for breaking down these compounds but wanted to investigate which bacteria do this best which they found to be called A12. The researchers wondered if a probiotic formulation could […]

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Heart Infections on the Rise in Dental Patients After Antibiotic Reductions

In March 2008, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidelines recommending that dentists should no longer give antibiotics before invasive treatments to people who are considered at risk of developing a life threatening heart infection. The life threatening heart infection is known as infective endocarditis and 40% of all cases are caused by bacteria in the mouth. Researchers at the University of Sheffield set out to explore the impact of these guidelines. It was found that an increase in cases of infective endocarditis was observed above what was expected. In March 2013, this increase accounted for an extra 35 cases of infective endocarditis per month. The researchers found that the number of  prescribed antibiotic prophylaxis fell by 89% from 10,900 prescriptions per month, before the 2008 NICE guidelines, to 1,235 a month by March 2008. The researchers […]

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Bacteria and Fungus Can Team Up to Cause Cavities

An interesting article titled “Symbiotic relationship between Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans synergizes the virulence of plaque-biofilms in vivo,” appears in the February 2014, edition of Infection and Immunity, written by Megan L. Falsetta and et al. The article describes how although Streptococcus mutans is often cited as the main bacteria in dental caries (cavities), particularly in early-childhood caries (ECCs), it may not act alone and may team up with Candida albicans. The infection with both can double the number of caries and increase their severity as it did for rats in the study. Candida albicans adheres mainly to the cheek and tongue, while Streptococcus mutans sticks to the surfaces of teeth by converting sugars to a sticky glue-like material called extracellular polysaccharide (EPS). The researchers found that the exoenzyme that S. mutans uses to react with sugar to produce EPS also […]

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Gum Disease Bacteria may Facilitate Rheumatoid Arthritis

As stated over on the risks of keeping wisdom teeth page, gum disease (periodontal disease) has been shown to have associations with many different systemic diseases. One such systemic disease is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). So far, any mechanism has remained elusive. In a recent study appearing in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry Oral Health and Systemic Diseases and other researchers from the European Union’s Gums and Joints project have uncovered how the bacteria responsible for periodontal disease known as Porphyromonas gingivalis effects rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers showed that this bacteria leads to faster progression, greater severity and earlier onset of RA and can cause bone and cartilage destruction. The researchers found the bacteria produces a unique enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminanse (PAD), which enhances collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), which is an arthritis produced in the lab designed […]

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