The overall objective of this research effort is to generate and characterize monoclonal antibodies with specificity to cell surface components of Streptococcus mutans and other microorganisms implicated in oral disease. Specifically, monoclonal antibodies are being generated to numerous S. mutans antigens, including serotype carbohydrate, glucosyltransferase, surface protein antigen, lipoteichoic acid and peptidoglycan. The monoclonal antibodies to the serotype carbohydrate are being further classified as to their ability to only react with the homologous antigen, with the carbohydrates from cross reacting serotypes, or with a determinant common to all S. mutans serotypes. All monoclonal antibodies are also being tested for their ability to react with human heart and kidney tissue in order to determine the antigenic determinant(s) of S. mutans (if any) which are capable of inducing antibodies which react with human tissue. Other studies are being directed to establish the monoclonal antibody to S. mutans which will be most effective as a diagnostic tool for predicting an individual's potential to develop dental caries. In other studies, we have generated monoclonal antibodies to various regions of lipopolysaccharide which will be investigated for their potential use in control of peridontopathic organisms.
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