King of hearts, joints and lungs; periodontal pathogens as etiologic factor in RA, CVD and COPD and their impact on treatment strategies

FP7-cooeuflagFinancing: European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº306029
Duration: 01/04/2013 – 31/03/2017
Web of the project:

Consortium description

The project will be coordinated by Dr. Piotr Mydel (University of Bergen, NO). The TRIGGER consortium brings together clinicians and researchers, experts in various fields relevant to epidemiology, biochemistry, molecular pathology and immunology of RA, CVD, COPD and PD. It involves 6 other universities (Jagiellonian University PL, Department of Molecular Biology at Aarhus University DK, Lung Immunobiochemical research laboratory at University Hospital in Birmingham UK, Department of Oral Biology at University of Oslo NO, Hebrew University and Hadassah Medical IL and Department of Periodontology at University of Bern CH), 3 research centers (Rheumatology Unit at Karolinska Institutet SE, Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona Spanish Research Council ES and Fraunhofer Institute of Cell Therapy and Immunology DE) and a commercial partner (Anaxomics Biotech, ES).

Project Description

Extensive clinical and epidemiological data clearly shows that chronic periodontal disease (PD), the most prevalent infectious inflammatory disease of mankind, is strongly linked to systemic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Taking into account that up to 30% of the adult population worldwide suffers from severe periodontitis, the impact of this disease on human health is immense and has been recognized by World Health Organization. Nevertheless, in many EU countries PD is a neglected disease, both by the population in general and health-care personnel. Often this negligence comes to the point that, like a hair-loss, the tooth-loss due to periodontitis is still considered as a normal inevitable event associated with aging. To combat this misconception and conceive novel approaches to prevent and/or treat CVD, RA, and COPD we will explore highly innovative ideas that these non-communicable diseases are at least aggravated, if not initiated, by periodontal infection.

Results emanating from our project will: i) elucidate a relationship between the presence of specific periodontal pathogens and severity of systemic diseases and identification of potential points of therapeutic intervention or evaluate their biomarker feasibility; ii) show that extensive periodontal treatment improves clinical parameters of investigated systemic diseases; iii) reveal the impact of eradication of specific periodontal pathogen on the level of inflammatory markers; iv) develop novel, periodontal-pathogen specific bactericidal compounds based on periodontal glutaminyl cyclase (QC), the enzyme essential for these pathogens vitality. This will reduce mortality and ameliorated quality of life of CVD, RA, and COPD patients. All of these will be possible based on the knowledge of mechanisms beyond the causative links between specific pathogen driven periodontal disease and CVD, RA, and COPD revealed by research program outlined in this project.