Progress Towards Cavity Vaccines

Lumping the mechanisms of tooth decay under "damage that accumulates with age" is pushing the definition a little, but it's an interesting thought experiment. Other systems in the body rack up damage as they run - some will be comparatively easy to suppress, low-hanging fruit for modern medicine. "Researchers at The Forsyth Institute have made significant advances in research to develop a vaccine against cavities. [A research team] discovered key molecules that can stimulate a human immune response and has successfully conducted immunization trials in animal models. ... Forsyth's strategy is aimed at stimulating the production of antibodies that inhibit the enzyme that allows bacteria to accumulate on teeth. The researchers believe that the best way to protect against caries over the long term is to vaccinate children at about the age of one, after teeth have begun to emerge, but before [bacteria] have begun to colonize the tooth surfaces."

Link: http://www.forsyth.org/news_disp.asp?content_id=100535

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