Biological Mechanisms: Platelets and Bacteria - Current Scientific Evidence and Methods of Analyses
Pp. 45-66 (22)
Steven W. Kerrigan and Dermot Cox
There is a growing awareness of the role of oral pathogens in cardiovascular
disease. Chronic oral disease such as periodontitis, leads to inflammation and bleeding of the
gums. This bleeding provides a viable portal of entry for the bacteria to the circulation. Once
in the circulation oral bacteria can interact with circulating platelets. Their ability to support
platelet adhesion and induce platelet aggregation are critical steps in the pathogenesis of the
infective process. Oral bacteria use multiple mechanisms to interact with, and activate
platelets thus contributing to cardiovascular disease. This chapter will review the various
mechanisms oral bacteria use to interact with platelets.
Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.