The nonhuman primate (Nhp) has proven to be a useful model of human periodontitis. This study describes the immunological characteristics of this model and the ability of active immunization to interfere with ecological changes in the microbiota and its associated disease symptoms. Nhps were parenterally immunized with whole-cell antigens of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia. The immunization elicited an approximate 2-log increase in serum immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgM, and IgA isotype antibody that was highly specific for these immunogens. Postimmunization and postligation, there was minimal change in the levels of specific antibody. P. gingivalis immunization significantly inhibited the emergence of this species during disease progression. In contrast, induction of anti-P. intermedia antibody had a minimal effect on this species within the subgingival plaque. Plaque indices showed few changes that could be attributed to active immunization. Both bleeding on probing and loss of attachment were higher in ligated sites of immunized animals than in the placebo-treated group. A significant increase in bone density loss was observed in the ligated teeth from immunized versus control animals. These findings indicate that active immunization of Nhps can elicit a substantial systemic immune response; however, while this response may effect the emergence of an individual microorganism, it appears that other ecological considerations are critical in disease progression. It is also possible that the induction of a broad-based immune response to multiple bacterial antigens can result in increased disease, potentially associated with hypersensitivity reactions to the bacteria in the subgingival plaque.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Infection and immunity|
|State||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases