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DNA Vaccines Promising for Dental Caries

A preclinical investigation report by lead author Wei Shi, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sci­ences, and his team of researchers indicate that anticaries DNA vaccines, in­cluding pGJA-P/VAX, are promising for preventing dental caries. However, challenges remain because of the low immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. The study, published in the Journal of Dental Re­search, used recombinant flagellin protein derived from Salmonella as mucosal adjuvant for anticaries DNA vaccine (pGJA-P/VAX) and analyzed the effects of Salmonella protein on the serum surface protein immunoglobulin G and saliva surface protein immu­noglobulin A antibody responses, the colonization of Streptococcus mutans on rodent teeth, and the formation of caries lesions. The results showed that Salmonella promoted the production of surface protein immunoglobulin G in serum and secretory immunoglobulin A in saliva of animals by intranasal im­munization with pGJA-P/VAX plus Salmonella. The re­searchers also found that enhanced surface protein immu­noglobulin A re­sponses in saliva were associated with inhibition of S mutans colonization of tooth surfaces and endowed better protection with significantly less carious lesions. The study concludes that re­combinant Salmonel­la could en­hance specific immunoglobulin A re­sponses in saliva and protective ability of pGJA-P/VAX, providing an effective mucosal adjuvant candidate for intranasal im­munization of an anticaries DNA vaccine. DNA vaccine ap­proaches for dental caries have had a history of success in animal models. Den­tal caries vaccines, directed to key components of S mutans colonization and enhanced by safe and effective adjuvants and optimal delivery vehicles, are likely to be forthcoming.
(Source: ScienceDaily, October 25, 2011)

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