Characteristics of systemic antibody responses of nonhuman primates to cell envelope and cell wall antigens from periodontal pathogens

S. E. Cox, S. C. Holt, J. L. Ebersole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The immune response of the primate, Macaca fascicularis, to cell envelope (CEA) or cell wall (CWA) antigens of several periodontal pathogens was examined to develop a strategy to interfere with ligature-induced periodontitis. Animals were parenterally immunized with CEA of either Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia or a combination of CEA/CWA of Campylobacter rectus, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Actinomyces viscosus. Serum samples were taken every 2-4 weeks over a 4-month period, which included a 13-week interval with molar teeth ligated. All of the nonhuman primates in the study exhibited baseline levels of IgG, IgM and IgA antibody to formalinized whole cells of the bacteria. These levels increased significantly following immunization and were elevated above baseline throughout the remainder of the experiment. The largest change in antibody responses was seen in IgA antibody levels to P. gingivalis and C. rectus (42- fold above baseline), IgM antibody to P. intermedia, (41-fold increase) and IgG antibody to F. nucleatum and A. viscosus (32 and 63-fold increases). Moreover, the nonhuman primates exhibited differences in isotype response levels to whole microorganisms compared with the cell envelope antigens. These findings demonstrate the capacity of these nonhuman primates to produce an active immune response to microorganisms chronically colonizing the subgingival microbiota. Additionally, it appears that the bacteria may exhibit some unique differences in their immunogenicity as detected by the nonhuman primate and may contribute to the ability of the immune responses to effectively interact with these pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-211
Number of pages8
JournalOral Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1997


  • Antibody
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Periodontal pathogen
  • Periodontitis
  • Serum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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