You are on page 1of 25

Presented by: Sachin Rai

Department Of Oral Medicine and Radiology


Mechanism of action of vaccine
Routes of Immunization
Types of caries vaccine
Attempts using Antibodies
Risks of Using Caries Vaccine

As wild as it may sound, dental caries have a profound effect on

our country also in a political way. Worldwide, it is estimated

that five billion people suffer from tooth decay. A vaccine would
also be cheaper than purchasing dental care and cleaning
materials. A vaccine would also help people in many poor
countries where dental care is not available.

Dental caries is an infectious microbiologic disease of the teeth

that results in localized dissolution and destruction of the

calcified tissue (Sturduent) .

A wide group of microorganisms are identified from carious

lesions of which Streptococcus mutans , Lactobacillus

acidophilus, and Actinomyces viscosus are the main
pathogenic species involved in the initiation and development of
dental caries.

Vaccines are an immuno-biological substance designed to

produce specific protection against a given disease. It stimulates

the production of a protective antibody and other immune
mechanisms. Vaccines are prepared from live modified
organisms, inactivated or killed organisms, extracted cellular
fractions, toxoids, or a combination thereof.
The prevention and control of dental caries is the main aim of

public health, eventually the ultimate objective of public health

is the elimination of the disease itself. Recently, dental caries
vaccines have been developed for the prevention of dental
caries. These dental caries vaccines are still in the early stages.
Mechanism of Action of Vaccine

Saliva contains approximately 1-3% of immunoglobulin

concentration, a majority of which is secretary IgA. In addition,
cellular components of the immune system such as lymphocytes,
macrophages, and neutrophils are also present in gingival sulcus.

Some of the possible ways antibodies might control bacterial growth

are listed below.

The salivary immunoglobulin may act as a specific agglutinin

interacting with the bacterial surface receptors and inhibiting

colonization and subsequent caries formation.

The salivary glands produce secretory IgA antibodies by direct

immunization of the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), from

where sensitized B-cells may be home to the salivary glands.

The gingival crevicular mechanism involves all the humoral and

cellular components of the systemic immune system, which may
exert its function at the tooth surface.

The organism is phagocytosed and undergoes antigenic

processing by macrophages. In the lymphoid tissue, T and B-
lymphocytes are sensitized by the macrophages preventing the
antigen HLA Class-II complex and releasing IL-I.
Routes of Immunization

In general, 4 routes of immunization have been used with

S. mutans:


Systemic (subcutaneous).

Active gingivo-salivary.

Passive dental immunization.

1. Oral route

Many of the earlier studies relied on oral induction of immunity

in the GALT to elicit protective salivary IgA antibody responses.

A significant reduction in caries was related to an increased level

of salivary IgA antibodies to S. mutans, as the serum antibody

titer was minimal.

Daily administration of 10 cells of S. mutans in capsules

produced a small increase in secretory IgA.

2. Intranasal route

More recently, attempts have been made to induce protective

immunity in mucosal inductive sites that are in closer anatomical

relationship to the oral cavity.

These include intranasal installation of antigen which targets

nasal associated lymphoid tissue(NALT).

3. Tonsillar route

Tonsilar application of antigen generates a good anti-microbial

response with the help of IgG.

Palatine and nasopharyngeal tonsils contribute precursor cells to

mucosal sites.
4. Minor salivary gland

These have been selected as their ducts can facilitate retrograde

access of bacteria and their products.

Passive immunization

As the name suggests, passive immunization involves passive or external

supplementation of the antibodies. This carries the disadvantage of
repeated applications, as the immunity conferred is temporary.

Several approaches tried were:

Monoclonal antibodies.

Bovine milk and whey.

Egg-yolk antibodies.

Transgenic plants.

The latest in these developments in passive immunization is the

use of transgenic plants to give the antibodies. The researchers

have developed a caries vaccine from a genetically modified
(GM) tobacco plant. The vaccine, which is colourless and
tasteless, can be painted onto the teeth rather than injected and
is the first plant derived vaccine from GM plants.

The advantages of passive immunization are listed below:

The genetic material can be easily exchanged.

It is possible to manipulate the antibody structure so that while

the specificity of the antibody is maintained, the constant region
can be modified to adapt to human conditions, thus avoiding
cross reactivity.
Large scale production is possible as it would be quite

Subunit vaccines.

Recombinant vaccines.

Conjugated vaccines.
Attempts using antibodies

Early attempts followed a traditional approach to vaccination

where normal S. mutans was introduced to promote a reaction

from the immune system, stimulating antibody production.

The corporation planet biotechnology has developed a

synthetic antibody against S. mutans, branded CaroRx, which

it produces using transgenic tobacco plants. This product may be
considered a theraputic vaccine, applied once every several
months, and is in Phase II clinical trials as of October 2007.
Risks of Using Caries Vaccine

All vaccines, even if properly manufactured and

administered, seem to have risks. The most serious is that

sera of some patients with rheumatic fever who show
serological cross-reactivity between heart tissue antigens
and certain antigens from hemolytic Streptococci.

Clearly, there is strong evidence that S. mutans and Streptococcus

sobrinus are closely associated with dental caries. Fluoride

treatment has successfully limited caries progression, but was not
sufficient to control this infectious disease even when used
together with professional tooth cleaning and dietary counseling.

Along with established methods of caries prevention, caries

vaccines have the potential of making a highly valuable

contribution to disease control.

Park K. Text book of preventive and social medicine. 17th ed. Bhanotidas
Publication; 2004.
Clifford MS. The art and science of Operative dentistry. 4th ed. Mosby
Publications; 1995.
Tandon S. Textbook of Pedodontics. 1st ed. Paras Publishing; 2001.
News. Genes 'n' Greens: The future of oral medicine? Br Dent J
Krasse B, Emilson CG, Gahnberg L. An anticaries vaccine: Report on the status
of research. Caries Res 1987;21:255-76.
Harris R. Vaccines for dental caries. Aust Dent J 1983;28:115-6
Newman, Nisengard. Oral microbiology and immunology. W.B. Saunder's
Company; 1988.
Textbook of pediatric dentistry (Nikhil Marwah).2nd ed.Jaypee publishing