January 25, 2017 – Mouth Hygiene and RA


Anchor lead: How can bacteria in the mouth and rheumatoid arthritis be related? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Looking at someone’s genes may one day help determine whether they are at risk to develop rheumatoid arthritis, research by Felipe Andrade and colleagues at Johns Hopkins suggests. Andrade describes the findings.

Andrade: What we found is there is a specific group of antibodies are developed in patients that have the genetic predisposition but they need to have also the evidence of the infection by the bacteria.  Evidence of the infection in the mouth is found in 10% of healthy people but not everybody develops the disease. So you need to have the combination of the genetic plus the infection and likely the genetic part involves many genes not only one.   :29

Andrade says people thought to be at risk might be genetically tested as children, then provided with rigorous oral hygiene to avoid infection with the bacterium and thereby prevent such stimulation of their immune response. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.