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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and rheumatoid arthritis: what triggers autoimmunity and clinical disease?

Jose U Scher* and Steven B Abramson

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine and Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 E17th Street, New York, NY 10003, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:122  doi:10.1186/ar4360

See related research by Arvikar et al.

Published: 30 October 2013


Rheumatoid arthritis, currently regarded as a complex multifactorial disease, was initially characterized as such at the turn of the 19th century. Ever since, multiple lines of investigation have attempted to elucidate the etiological factor(s) involved in disease incidence. Genes – including those risk alleles within HLA-DR4 – have been implicated but are insufficient to explain the vast majority of cases. Several environmental factors, therefore, are being studied. Among them, the role of periodontal disease and Porphyromonas gingivalis in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis has attracted both clinical and bench interest given supportive epidemiologic and mechanistic data.