A systematic review of the animal and human literature on the use of vaccines to prevent dental caries

Pratiksha Amin, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Streptococcus mutans has been identified as the primary etiological agent of human dental caries. Since its identification, there has been research focused on the development of a vaccine to prevent this disease. Preliminary research has been conducted to test both active and passive vaccines for Streptococcus mutans in animals and humans. Although a vaccine for dental caries caused by Streptococcus mutans would most likely be administered to children, no testing of any type of dental caries vaccines has been conducted on children as of yet. The public health imperative for the development of a vaccine is great. Not only will a vaccine reduce the various consequences, but it would also improve quality of life for many individuals. Among the many possible vaccine antigen candidates, researchers have also been focusing on protein antigens, GTFs, and Gbps as possible candidates for a vaccine. There are also many routes of administration under research, with topical, oral, and intranasal showing a lot of promise. This review will provide an overview on the current state of research, present key factors influencing prevalence of caries, and summarize and discuss the results of animal and human studies on caries vaccines against Streptococcus mutans. The progress and obstacles facing the development of a vaccine to fight dental caries will also be discussed.

Subject Area

Dentistry|Public health

Recommended Citation

Amin, Pratiksha, "A systematic review of the animal and human literature on the use of vaccines to prevent dental caries" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1457517.