Antibodies Reacting with Streptococcus Mutans in Secretions from Minor Salivary Glands in Humans
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The association between Streptococcus mutans and dental caries has stimulated a great deal of interest in the possibility of producing salivary antibodies directed against this microorganism (1). Injection of antigen into the salivary tissue or instillation of antigen in the parotid duct has been shown to induce salivary IgA antibodies in rodents and primates (2–4). These methods of immunization are probably inappropriate for humans, but it has been suggested that the minor salivary glands which are located superficially and have short secretory ducts could be stimulated by retrograde flow of oral antigens (4,5). The secretions from these glands contain a high concentration of IgA (5), and in the present study the level of IgA antibodies reacting with S. mutans has been examined. In addition, the effect of topical application of a S. mutans vaccine on the concentration of specific IgA antibodies was studied.
KeywordsDental Caries Streptococcus Mutans Minor Salivary Gland Parotid Saliva Cotton Roll
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