HCR.20.091 – Development of a multivalent mucosal DNA-vaccine against periodontitis.

Route: Health care research, sickness prevention and treatment

Cluster question: 096 How can we improve diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines for immunodeficiencies and infectious diseases?

Periodontal disease (PD) remains one of the most prevalent diseases in humans and dogs, imposing significant burdens on public health and animal welfare. According to GBD 2017, the prevalence of severe periodontal disease in humans was more than 10%, making it the 12th most prevalent human disease globally. PD is typically associated with halitosis, periodontal damage, and tooth loss; but its deleterious effects are not limited to the oral cavity. Compelling evidence from longitudinal studies links human PD with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, while a growing body of evidence suggest a similar link between canine PD and cardiovascular disease. Prevention and early treatment are crucial to avoid permanent periodontal damage and systemic disease; but PD treatment often comes late in the disease progress. Moreover, current treatment remains nonspecific and largely relies on plaque removal, which often proves insufficient and frequently leads to indiscriminate use of antibiotics (AB). Unsurprisingly, high resistance to various antibiotics has been reported in periodontitis microbiota of humans and dogs. We want to develop a multivalent mucosal vaccine against periodontitis for dogs, which could contribute immensely to the development of a PD vaccine for humans. The key pathogens in human and canine PD are very similar (e.g. P. gingivalis and P. gulae) and mucosal vaccines are better established in veterinary medicine. Moreover, the canine vaccine would indirectly impact human health, since possible transfer of antibiotic-resistant periodontal bacteria from dogs to humans has been identified as a potential threat to public health. Pfizer produced a PD vaccine for dogs until April 2011, leaving a big gap in the market. Since then, we have gained a much better understanding of PD, partly due to major advancements in HTS, offering a unique opportunity to develop a new vaccine.


antibiotic resistance, mucosal vaccine, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Porphyromonas gulae, Treponema Denticola

Other organisations

Ghent University


Organisation Utrecht University (UU)
Name Prof. dr. F. (Femke) Broere
E-mail f.broere@uu.nl