Watch Prof Eric Reynolds on ABC’s Catalyst program

Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO featured on a recent episode of ABC’s Catalyst program, which explored Australia’s most common dental complaints. In addition to examining the bacteria living in ABC presenter, Dr Brad McKay’s mouth, Professor Reynolds also discussed his work towards periodontal disease.

“When a patient with sever forms of periodontal inflammation brush their teeth or eat, the bacteria can cause toxins from the bacteria in the mouth to enter the blood stream.

One in particular is called Porphyromonas gingivalis, this organism is seeking blood and we call it a microbial vampire. Over the last 10 years, P gingivalis has not only been linked with severe forms of periodontal disease, but researchers around the world are starting to identify it as a risk factor for things like rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease with chronic inflammatory diseases, but also dementia.

We’re developing a vaccine and I’m delighted to say that we take this into human trials in 2021.

If it turns out that the association with dementia and rheumatoid arthritis is real, then a vaccine will go far beyond preventing severe gum disease. It could help reduce the risk of these other diseases, which would be wonderful.”

You can watch the full video here. Professor Reynold’s segment starts at the 22-minute mark.

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