Graduation Date

Spring 5-2-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Jeffrey B. Payne, D.D.S., M.Dent.Sc.

Second Advisor

Ted R. Mikuls, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Third Advisor

Nagamani Narayana, D.M.D., M.S.

Fourth Advisor

Peter J. Giannini, D.D.S., M.S.


Objectives: Study 1 – To quantify associations between anti-Porphyromonas gingivalis, anti-Prevotella intermedia, and anti-Fusobacterium nucleatum serum antibody concentrations and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Study 2 – To test if periodontal clinical measures, alveolar bone loss (ABL), and the aforementioned serum anti-bacterial antibody concentrations are associated with anti-malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) serum antibody concentrations.

Methods: Study 1 – Serum samples pre- and post- RA diagnosis (n=214 cases, 210 matched controls) from the U.S. Department of Defense Serum Repository were utilized to compare timing of elevations of anti-bacterial antibody concentrations relative to RA diagnosis and associations between antibacterial antibody concentrations and RA autoantibodies. Study 2 – Periodontal clinical and ABL measurements were made on participants from five medical centers (n=284 RA cases, n=330 osteoarthritis controls). Serum anti-MAA and anti-bacterial antibody concentrations were quantified by ELISA. Both studies utilized linear regression models.

Results: Study 1 – No case-control divergence in serum anti-bacterial antibody concentrations was seen. In RA pre-diagnosis samples, anti-P. intermedia was significantly positively associated with rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP2. Study 2 – Moderate and high ABL in RA cases were significantly positively associated with IgG and IgM anti-MAA. Serum antibacterial antibody concentrations also displayed significant positive associations with anti-MAA antibodies.

Conclusions: These studies suggest a potential role of anti-P. intermedia in development of RA. ABL and antibodies to oral pathogens were associated with anti-MAA antibodies suggesting that MAA may play a role in the link between the periodontium and RA.


2024 Copyright, the authors

Available for download on Monday, October 07, 2024