Cell surface protein antigen (PAc) and glucosyltransferases (GTF) produced by Streptococcus mutans are considered major colonization factors of the organism, and the inhibition of these factors is thought to prevent dental caries. In this study, 8-mo-old pregnant Holstein cows were immunized with fusion protein PAcA-GB, a fusion of the saliva-binding alanine-rich region (PAcA) of PAc with the glucan binding (GB) domain of GTF-I, an enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of water-insoluble glucan from sucrose. High titers of immunoglobulin antibodies specific for the fusion protein were found in normal milk after reimmunization, and they persisted for ~3 mo. The immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against PAcA-GB were purified from immunized milk. The antibodies significantly inhibited the adhesion of S. mutans cells to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite beads. IgG antibodies purified from immunized milk also inhibited total glucan synthesis by cell-associated GTF preparation and GTF-I from S. mutans. The immunized milk may be useful as a means of passive immunization for the prevention of dental caries in humans.
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