Bacteria that cause periodontal disease may soon save lives
from Carolina Pickens
The bacterium Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans is the bane of many oral health professionals. It is commonly associated with periodontal disease and other forms of both oral and nonoral infections. However, a researcher from Rutgers University was recently awarded a $4.4 million commitment to develop a cancer-fighting therapy from the bacterium. Dr. Scott Kachlany, an oral biology professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, found that Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans can create a protein that kills leukemia cells. It can also be utilized as a treatment for autoimmune disorders, including Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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