Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Janina P. Lewis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Janina Golob Deeb, D.D.S., M.S.

Third Advisor

Thomas Waldrop, D.D.S., M.S.

Fourth Advisor

Caroline Carrico, Ph.D.


Background/Purpose: Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease with a bacterial etiology in a susceptible host. A selective antibiotic with minimal systemic side effects could be a useful adjunct to traditional periodontal therapy. Amixicile is a novel antimicrobial agent that targets pyruvate: ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR), an enzyme that is critical for anaerobic bacterial metabolism and has been found to have little-to-no side-effects in animal models. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the effect of amixicile on clinical periodontal parameters and the composition of the oral microbiome in rhesus macaque monkeys. It was hypothesized that the amixicile would reduce growth of anaerobic bacteria and thus shift the microbiome from one of disease-promoting bacteria to that of predominately health-promoting, aerobic bacteria. By doing so, it was hypothesized that following amixicile therapy there would be a viii decrease in clinical parameters of periodontal disease activity (i.e. bleeding on probing, progressive change in probing depth and attachment loss). Methods: A total of six non-human primates of the Macaca mulatta species were studied. Three animals were treated with a two-week course of systemic administration of amixicile and the remaining three served as controls. Periodontal examinations were performed at baseline, immediately post-treatment, and 1-, 3-, and 6-months posttreatment. Periodontal charting, including probing depths, bleeding sites, plaque sites, calculus sites, and gingival index, was recorded at each visit. Saliva, plaque, and gingival crevicular fluid at specified sites were collected as well. Results/Conclusion: There was no statistically significant differences amongst the clinical parameters evaluated when comparing control versus experimental animals. Microbiologically, there seemed to be a trend in which amixicile-treated animals demonstrated a dramatic reduction in anaerobic, pathogenic bacteria while having an increase or no change in aerobic bacteria. Comparatively, in the control animals an increase or at times slight decrease in anaerobic bacteria was seen while results varied for the aerobic bacteria. This demonstrates amixicile’s ability to shift the oral microbiome from one associated with periodontal pathogenic bacteria to one associated with periodontal health.


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