(S.mutans) is a major pathogen
commonly found in the human oral cavity and is associated with dental caries.
Dissemination of oral bacteria into the bloodstream is very common in patients
subjected to dental procedures. S.mutans, if presents in the
bloodstream, is suspected as a leading causative agent of cardiovascular
diseases (CVD) such as infective endocarditis (IE), a life-threatening
inflammation of the heart valves. Recently it has been shown that S. mutans is the most prevalent
bacterial species in heart vegetations and atheromatous plaques. Currently,
there is no vaccine for S.mutans. The
researchers discovered a gene (Cnm) that contributed to S.mutans hyper virulence. People
carrying S.mutans which has this gene
are likely to be at a higher risk of developing dental carries and CVD.
of a kit that would generally screen patients for higher risk of developing CVD,
especially before a dental procedure. In addition, Cnm could be the center of
developing a vaccine against hypervirulent forms of S.mutans.
gene can serve as a novel target for development of vaccines, diagnostics, and
therapeutics against the hypervirulent version of S.mutans.