Serum IgG levels specific to the BspA protein of Tannerella forsythia correlate with periodontal status
Hall, Lindsay Marie
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Tannerella forsythia is a gram-negative anaerobe implicated in the development of various forms of periodontal diseases (PD). This bacterium expresses a number of potential virulence factors, out of which BspA is the most well-studied. BspA is a surface expressed and secreted protein that induces secretion of chemokines and proinflammatory cytokines in gingival epithelial cells, and monocytes. Its role in inflammation has been well-studied in vitro and in vivo mouse models, and the expression of this important virulence factor is essential for mediating T. forsythia -induced periodontal bone loss in mice. However, information regarding host immune responses to BspA in patients with PD is lacking. This study was initiated to investigate if patinets infected with T. forsythia trigger an immune response to the BspA protein, and furthermore, determine if serum igG levels to BspA correlate with disease status. To achieve these goals, sera from healthy and periodontally-diseased patients were assayed for BspA-specific IgG as well as IgG subtypes by ELISA method. The results of our study showed that BspA-specific IgG levels correlate positively with clinical attachment loss (CAL) [(0.18) t (173) = 2.39, p =0.017] and periodontal pocket depth (PPD) [(0.338) t (173) = 4.69, p =5.4E-6] when healthy and disease groups are combined. This also indicates that serum IgG response to BspA is elicited in human subjects infected with T. forsythia . Interestingly, a negative correlation between BspA-specific IgG levels and clinical attachment loss (CAL) [(-0.23) t (73) = 1.99, p=0.05], [(-0.21) t (100) = 2.12, p =0.03], is observed in subjects with PD. These data demonstrate that antibodies to T. forsythia BspA are elicited in patients with periodontal disease and the antibody levels are associated with the disease severity. Furthermore, the data suggest that anti-BspA antibodies are protective against clinical attachment loss associated with periodontal disease.