The mechanical therapy with multiple doses of antibiotics is one of modalities for treatment of periodontal diseases. However, treatments using multiple doses of antibiotics carry risks of generating resistant strains and misbalancing the resident body flora. We present an approach via immunization targeting an outer membrane protein FomA of Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum), a central bridging organism in the architecture of oral biofilms. Neutralization of FomA considerably abrogated the enhancement of bacterial co-aggregation, biofilms and production of volatile sulfur compounds mediated by an inter-species interaction of F. nucleatum with Porphyromonas gingivalis (P. gingivalis). Vaccination targeting FomA also conferred a protective effect against co-infection-induced gum inflammation. Here, we advance a novel infectious mechanism by which F. nucleatum co-opts P. gingivalis to exacerbate gum infections. FomA is highlighted as a potential target for development of new therapeutics against periodontal infection and halitosis in humans.
- Fusobacterium nucleatum
- Porphyromonas gingivalis