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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases - Volume 13 2002, Issue 1, Pages 47-51

Review Faculté de médecine dentaire et Groupe de recherche en écologie buccale, Pavillon de médecine dentaire, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada

Received 18 October 2001; Revised 25 October 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The oral cavity has sometimes been described as a mirror that reflects a person-s health. Systemic diseases such as diabetes or vitamin deficiency may be seen as alterations in the oral mucosa. A variety of external factors cause changes in the oral mucosa, thus altering mucosal structure and function, and promoting oral pathologies most frequently bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Little is known, however, about immune surveillance mechanisms that involve the oral mucosa.

There is no direct contact between specific immune cells in the basal epithelium and microorganisms in the upper layers of the oral mucosa. The author-s hypothesis is that the protective immunity is conveyed through epithelial cells. The present brief review assesses the oral mucosa-s role as the main defence in the interactions between the host and the oral microbial community. A unique model was used to investigate these interactions as the cause of oral disease and to develop new treatments that exploit our knowledge of the host-microorganism relationship.

Autor: Mahmoud Rouabhia



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