Sarah Ringold, MD, and Anne Stevens, MD, PhD
Is there a link between prophyromonas gingivalis infection and juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
In their pilot project, Drs. Sarah Ringold
and Anne Stevens
will test the hypothesis that exposure to
Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria associated with periodontitis/gingivitis, is a trigger for polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Evidence suggests that
may trigger rheumatoid arthritis (RA) via mimicry, a process where antibodies to this bacteria cross-react with certain proteins found in joint tissue. Although polyarticular JIA is believed to share a cause with adult RA, it is not yet clear whether
plays a similar role in the JIA pathogenesis. In this study, investigators will measure the levels of cross-reactive antibodies of children with JIA and the association between the levels of these antibodies and clinically assessed JIA disease activity. These data will pave the way for additional research on the relationship between periodontal disease and JIA, hopefully leading to a better understanding of the etiology of JIA and novel treatment strategies. Peggy Lee, BDS, MSD, PhD, in the Division of Dentistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, is also a co-investigator on the project.