Panel of Salivary IL-1β and Related Biomarkers Successfully Diagnoses Periodontal Disease

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Dental researchers at the University of Kentucky have published a new study demonstrating that a panel of salivary inflammatory biomarkers made up of IL-1β, IL-6, and MMP-8 has the ability to discriminate periodontal disease patients from healthy patients. The study also provides important information about the ability of these salivary analytes to serve as diagnostic aids. Salimetrics is working to introduce reliable salivary assays for a number of important cytokines. The first of these new salivary assays for IL-1β was recently released, and assays for IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α are currently under development. Diagnostic uses for saliva biomarker measurements have also been a collaborative goal of Salimetrics, a company that heads the forefront of saliva-based research tools and services.

A new study published by dental researchers at the University of Kentucky has provided confirmation of an earlier study that suggested a panel of salivary analytes made up of Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8) could be useful for diagnosing periodontal disease. Importantly, this new study demonstrates that this panel of salivary analytes can successfully discriminate between healthy and diseased patients even though there is a certain amount of normal, day-to-day fluctuation in the levels of the analytes in individuals. This research was carried out using a small study population of 50 patients with periodontal disease and 30 healthy controls, and the authors note that the diagnostic ability of these biomarkers will now need to be tested in larger prospective studies of periodontal disease, as well as for less severe forms of periodontal disease including gingivitis.

Periodontal disease is a common inflammatory condition of the gum and bone tissues that support the teeth. In the U.S. the disease affects approximately 45% of adults over the age of 50. The goal of dental researchers has been to find a way to detect the disease while it is still in its early stages, before serious damage is done to the gum tissues and the underlying bone structure. Early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease would greatly improve the quality of life for patients and help to reduce the significant financial burden that now exists for the treatment of the advanced form of the disease. Additionally, it is thought that better management of periodontal disease may help many patients reduce their likelihood of developing systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are thought to be related to the elevated inflammatory state present in periodontal disease.

In order to serve dental researchers, oral biologists, and other scientists who are studying oral inflammatory conditions or the relationship of oral inflammation to other systems in the body, Salimetrics has been working to expand its list of salivary biomarker assays related to inflammation and the immune system. An assay kit for the cytokine salivary IL-1β was recently introduced, and assay kits for salivary IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α are currently under development. At present, Salimetrics offers saliva testing services for the cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α through the Salimetrics Laboratory. The product list also includes assay kits for salivary C-reactive protein and salivary Secretory IgA, which are often measured in conjunction with the cytokines.

As is discussed in this new study, variability in the measurements of levels of salivary cytokines and other salivary biomarkers is an issue that has been raised since it may hinder their use for diagnostic purposes. Finding and understanding sources of variability in salivary analyte measurements has also been a major concern of the researchers at Salimetrics. All immunoassays for salivary analytes manufactured by Salimetrics have been specifically designed and validated to provide reliable results with saliva samples. Additionally, Salimetrics is continually working to educate the research community on the best methods of collecting, handling, and storing saliva samples, in order to minimize factors that can affect experimental results. By making available superior quality salivary assays for inflammatory markers and providing up-to-date technical advice, Salimetrics seeks to assist researchers in obtaining the highest quality data from their studies.

About Salimetrics:

Founded in 1998, Salimetrics, LLC supports researchers, the immunodiagnostic industry, and functional testing laboratories around the world with innovative salivary immunoassay products and services. Salimetrics’ assay kits and CLIA-certified testing services measure biomarkers related to stress, behavior and development, inflammation, and immune function, including: alpha-amylase, androstenedione, blood contamination, chromogranin A, cortisol, cotinine, C-reactive protein, DHEA, DHEA-S, estradiol, estriol, estrone, IL-1b, IL-6, melatonin, progesterone, 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, secretory IgA, testosterone, and TNF-a. Salimetrics also provides salivary DNA analysis. The company is based in State College, Pennsylvania, with offices in the UK and distributors around the world. For more information, visit Salimetrics on the web at

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Chris Schwartz
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