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JU microbiologists co-author an article in Science Advances

JU microbiologists co-author an article in <em>Science Advances</em>

The Science Advances journal published a paper about the role of Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in Alzheimer’s disease and the possibility of using gingipain inhibitors in the treatment of this neurodegenerative illness. The authors of the article include researchers from the Department of Microbiology at the JU of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology and from the JU Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology.

The findings presented in the article Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors can have important implications for the diagnosis and treatment of one of the most severe neurodegenerative diseases. Porphyromonas gingivalis is responsible for periodontal disease, which is very common among patients suffering from dementia.

The article is a result of collaboration of scientists from 13 research centres in Poland, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. The authors include staff members of the Department of Microbiology of the JU Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology: Prof. Jan Potempa, Dr hab. Piotr Mydel, Dr Karina Adamowicz, and Ms Agata Marczyk, as well as Dr Małgorzata Benedyk-Machaczka and Annelie Hellvard from the JU Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology..

The results described in the paper are so promising that one of American companies is applying for funds to carry out the second stage of clinical studies with the use of the newly discovered small molecule gingipain inhibitor. The preclinical studies on mice presented in the article indicated that it protects the animals from P. gingivalis invasion into the brain.

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