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NYMC Researchers Find That Probiotics Can be Used to Treat Severe Gum Disease

The study showed that mice with gum disease saw improvement after being administered the probiotic Akkermansia muciniphila.

May 09, 2022
 Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D.

The NYMC-based research was led by Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., vice president for research and professor of pharmacology and of pathology, microbiology and immunology, NYMC, senior vice president for research affairs, Touro University, and professor of dental medicine, Touro College of Dental Medicine at NYMC, along with Hannah Mulhall, Ph.D. ‘21, graduate research associate in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Jeanne M. DiChiara, Ph.D., research fellow in the Department of Pharmacology.

The study, “Pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila (A. muciniphila) reduces periodontal and systemic inflammation induced by P. gingivalis in lean and obese mice,” gave mice P. gingivalis-associated experimental periodontitis. P. gingivalis is the pathogen prominent in chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that destroys the tissues supporting the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss and in severe cases, damage to the jawbone.

After three weeks, the same mice were orally administered live, pasteurized A. muciniphila or Amuc_1100 and observed for three additional weeks. Through this method, this study showed that only the local administration of A. muciniphila, viable or pasteurized, or pili-like protein Amuc_1100 can prevent inflammatory bone resorption associated with P. gingivalis infection.

“Further work will be necessary to determine the pathways in which these beneficial effects are taking place. Altogether, pasteurized A. muciniphila seems to be an ideal candidate to be an adjuvant for periodontal treatment,” Dr. Amar said.

The next step in the study will be to conduct human trials to see if A. muciniphila has the same effect, Dr. Amar said, which has been deemed safe after testing toxicity of the bacterium.