Microbial Pathogenesis of Oral Organisms

JOSEPH J. ZAMBON, DDS, PhD  personal profile

Oral bacteria and Gram-negative species

This laboratory focuses on clinical studies of oral bacteria and also on basic research on oral Gram-negative species. Clinical microbiological studies are performed; 1) in conjunction with clinical studies to characterize subject populations in determining the role of subgingival microorganisms as risk factors for periodontitis; 2) to evaluate the role of oral bacteria in oral manifestations of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); 3) in conjunction with clinical trials to examine the microbiological safety and efficacy of oral and periodontal therapy; and 4) serve as the basis for examining the distribution of virulence factors within and among oral bacterial species.

Basic research studies in the laboratory currently focus on the microbial genetics of Gram-negative periodontal pathogens such as Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. Separate investigations are underway to examine 1) genetic diversity within species of bacterial pathogens, and 2) genetic regulation of bacterial virulence factors.