Relationship of Oral Pathogens to Systemic Diseases

FRANK SCANNAPIECO, DMD, PhD personal profile

Improving oral hygiene to prevent VAP

Recent studies have found that poor oral hygiene may foster the colonization of the oropharynx by potential respiratory pathogens in mechanically-ventilated (MV), intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Thus, improvements in oral hygiene in MV-ICU patients may prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).

The specific aims of this project are: 1) to organize the necessary infrastructure to develop and perform a pilot clinical trial to evaluate alternative oral hygiene procedures to prevent VAP; 2) to use this organization to perform a pilot clinical trial to determine if the use of oral topical chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) will prevent dental plaque, oropharyngeal colonization by respiratory pathogens, and VAP in MV-ICU patients. This pilot longitudinal, double blind intervention study will consider the appropriate frequency of delivery of CHX to improve oral hygiene in MV-ICU patients, assessing the efficacy and generalization of this intervention to improve oral hygiene in MV-ICU and prevent VAP.

Other areas of Dr. Scannapieco's research are available at Microbial Pathogenesis of Oral Organisms, Saliva and Salivary Glands, and Clinical & Translational Research