Microbiologists discover how cavity-causing microbes invade heart

Scientists have discovered the tool that bacteria normally found in our mouths use to invade heart tissue, causing a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart known as endocarditis. The work raises the possibility of creating a screening tool — perhaps a swab of the cheek or a spit test — to gauge a dental patient's vulnerability to the condition.

Scientists have discovered the tool that bacteria normally found in our mouths use to invade heart tissue, causing a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart known as endocarditis. The work raises the possibility of creating a screening tool — perhaps a swab of the cheek or a spit test — to gauge a dental patient's vulnerability to the condition.

The identification of the protein that allows Streptococcus mutans to gain a foothold in heart tissue is reported in the June issue of Infection and Immunity by microbiologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center.

More in Clinical Tips