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CWRU dental researcher's NIDCR grant targets oral bacteria and fetal death link
Date:7/8/2013

" in various parts of the bodywhich Han has described as a key that opens the door, allowing other oral bacteria in.

Once a colony is established, Han explained, it triggers the biochemical process that creates inflammation that can develop into plaque in the heart, erosion of the bone in arthritis or bacteria in the lungs that can cause a newborn's death.

Fusobacterium also have a mechanism to attach to cell walls and set the body's immune response in motion.

Once the bacteria cause inflammation, the researchers said, they become bona fide pathogens that incite diseases.

Han, who has researched oral bacteria's link to adverse pregnancy outcomes for a decade, has made a number of discoveries over the years.

By using DNA tracking, she has linked the bacteria found in a stillborn baby to plaque in the mother's mouth. In mouse models and cord blood from human babies, Han used new DNA testing to discover many more oral bacteria are present in the placenta, amniotic fluid and cord blood than previously thought. Many of these bacteria cannot be found with traditional culture testing of amniotic fluid or blood.

The ability to identify and properly treat the bacteria could potentially prevent diseases and save lives, Han said.


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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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