What if you could give your oral health a boost by receiving a vaccine.
Researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences are working on such a vaccine, and their study has just been published in Scientific Reports.
In previous studies, the Chinese researchers had attempted to protect against caries by fusing the recombinant PAc proteins of S. mutans with the C-terminal of E. coli-derived recombinant flagellin proteins.
In lab tests using mice and rats, a vaccine prototype of the protein fusion was administered through the nasal cavities.
When mice without caries received this vaccine, it conferred a 64.2 percent prophylactic efficacy, and in those mice that had already developed caries, the vaccine produced a 53.9 percent therapeutic effect.
Overall, the protein was shown to retain the original version’s high level of protection against caries, while producing fewer side effects.
Some 60 to 90 percent of schoolchildren, as well as adults, are known to suffer from dental caries, so clearly, a huge number of people could benefit from a vaccine that prevents their formation.