Antigens of Streptococcus Mutans Implicated in Virulence — Production of Antibodies
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Streptococcus mutans has been shown to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of dental caries in many animal models (1,2, 3). Vaccines to protect against dental caries (for reveiws see references 4, 5, 6) have been composed of suspensions of whole cells of S. mutans and/or cell-free enzyme preparations derived from these bacteria. Protection against infection and/or dental caries has been reported In primates and rodents immunized using whole cells (4, 5). However, a correlation between protection and antibodies against specific bacterial antigens, such as glucosyltrans-ferases, has not been consistently found (6–9). The degree of purity of these enzyme preparations is not known and it is likely that most, if not all, were contaminated by other immunogenic substances from S. mutans. The effects of different routes of vaccination have also been investigated, the level of protection has varied considerably (4, 5); however, many of the routes used in these investigations would be unacceptable for use in humans (4).
KeywordsDental Caries Rabbit Antiserum Streptococcus Mutans High Molecular Weight Fraction Vaccine Preparation
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