2023 Division Of Research Annual Report

NOVA S OU T H E AS T E RN UN I V E R S I T Y 17 people who are immunocompromised or who have primary infections. Typically, bacteria counteract the antibiotic’s effect by changing an aspect of their genetics. With the inoculum effect, however, bacteria band together to avoid sustained impact. Smith plans to design adjuvants to administer alongside antibiotics that will stunt or prevent such harmful alliances from forming. People with periodontitis unwittingly pump scores of bacteria into blood circulation every day, just from eating or brushing their teeth. Toshihisa Kawai, D.D.S., Ph.D., and his research group discovered that overactivation of bacteria-reactive lymphocytes in gum tissue causes pathogenic bone destruction. The pathogenic property is what permits periodontal bacteria to penetrate circulation and deliver bacterial virulence factors to remote organs. A recent study, for example, found periodontal bacteria in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, Kawai’s lab also excels in the generation of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and has developed a unique method of generating mAbs with the potential to treat periodontitis and related bone-destructive diseases, including osteoporosis, bone cancer metastasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The Periodontitis Plague THE FRONT LINE Human Disease Extreme inflammation is a well-known indicator of immune-mediated diseases, but the regulatory activities of IL-10 expressing regulatory B cells (B10 cells) and their potential role in resolving inflammation is not well understood. Xiaozhe Han, D.M.D., Ph.D., together with Kawai, aim to complete the picture. One facet is how B10 cells promote production of specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPM). Reconnaissance of the actions of SPM and their roles on innate and adaptive immune responses could lay the groundwork for identifying diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets to facilitate treatment of periodontal disease and potentially other immune- mediated osteolytic conditions such as osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Second-Strike Capability The world has lived with the HIV/AIDS pandemic for four decades and the COVID-19 pandemic for three years. A new patent granted to Mark Cayabyab, Ph.D., and his collaborators protects proposed technology with clinical potential to develop therapies for inflammatory, allergic, and autoimmune diseases. One bonus is that Cayabyab’s approach involves oral inoculation. (The oral polio vaccine is a past example of this noninvasive method.) His novel strategy was used to construct a recombinant A Vaccine to Salivate Over vector that expresses HIV antigens. Initial testing demonstrated an ability to induce B- and T-cell responses, which means that mucosal antibodies can be implemented to prevent penetration of the mucosa by pathogens such as HIV. This is an important breakthrough, as there currently is no cure or vaccine, to treat Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrom (AIDS). Better still, clinical potential is not limited to HIV vaccine and licensing is possible. CRADDOCK SMITH KAWAI HAN CAYABYAB Scan for more. Scan for more. Scan QR code for Clearing Landmines brief. Scan QR code for The Inoculum Effect brief.