Periodontitis, periodontopathic bacteria and lactoferrin
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Lactoferrin (LF) is a component of saliva and is suspected to be a defense factor against oral pathogens including Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. Periodontitis is a very common oral disease caused by periodontopathic bacteria. Antimicrobial activities and other biological effects of LF against representative periodontopathic bacteria, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Prevotella intermedia, have been widely studied. Association of polymorphisms in LF with incidence of aggressive periodontitis and the role of LF in the gingival crevicular fluid as a marker of periodontitis severity have also been reported. Periodontopathic bacteria reside as a biofilm in supragingival and subgingival plaque. Our recent study indicated that LF exhibits antibacterial activity against planktonic forms of P. gingivalis and P. intermedia at higher concentrations, and furthermore, LF effectively inhibits biofilm formation and reduces the established biofilm of these bacteria at physiological concentrations. A small-scale clinical study indicated that oral administration of bovine LF reduces P. gingivalis and P. intermedia in the subgingival plaque of chronic periodontitis patients. LF seems to be a biofilm inhibitor of periodontopathic bacteria in vitro and in vivo.
KeywordsLactoferrin Periodontitis Periodontopathic bacteria Plaque Biofilm
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