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HKU Faculty of Dentistry to launch first ever research project on pregnant women’s oral health in Mainland China
The Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) will conduct the first-ever research study in China to investigate a broad spectrum of oral-gut microbiomes and beyond as well as related systemic conditions including immunological profiles in pregnant mothers and newborn babies.
This pioneering study may lead to the establishment of novel health management programme for precise prevention and personalised healthcare in women and children.
The two-year project, entitled "Women's Oral/Periodontal Status and Related Mother-Infant Health: Metagenomics- and Ramanomics based Assessment of Microbiome & Clinical Applications", is led by Professor Lijian Jin, Modern Dental Laboratory Professor in Clinical Dental Science and Clinical Professor in Periodontology at HKU.
It is supported by a HKD3.28 million grant from the Shenzhen Science & Technology Innovation Commission - Shenzhen/Hong Kong Innovation Circle Programme.
Professor Jin's team will work in close collaboration with Dr Jilong Yao's team from the Shenzhen Maternity & Child Healthcare Hospital, and Professor Jian Xu's group from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy & Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Professor Jin said: "This new project gives us a great opportunity to investigate the close link between oral/periodontal status and systemic health during the crucial period of prenatal care, pregnancy and postnatal lactation." He said by identifying the dynamic profiles of oral microbiomes and related systemic conditions in pregnant women via deep analysis of saliva and other body fluids, it can be beneficial for health monitoring and help evaluate potential adverse risks.
The study aims to:
  1. assess the oral, intestinal and other microbial profiles as well as related systemic conditions and immune responses in women with various oral/periodontal (gum) health status during pregnancy and the postpartum period, as well as the corresponding microbiomes in their newborns;
  2. identify the characteristic biomarkers via the cutting-edge metagenomic and ramanomic approaches; and
  3. predict the potential risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and thereby enhance healthcare for mothers and newborns.
Professor Jin further said: "The American Academy of Periodontology made professional recommendations and guidelines of periodontal healthcare for pregnant women as far back as 2004. However, at present, there are no well-established national guidelines and schemes in promoting oral/periodontal health and care of pregnant women and their newborn babies. With a concerted effort, we hope to generate new scientific evidence and contribute to establishing an integrated framework of precision oral healthcare for general health and wellbeing of women and children in China and beyond."
 
Media enquiry:
Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong
Senior Communications Officer, Ms Melody Tang
(Tel: 2859 0494 / 9155 0980; Email: melodytang@hku.hk)
 
新聞稿
香港大學牙醫學院啟動首個中國内地關於孕婦口腔健康的研究項目
香港大學(港大)牙醫學院將進行中國内地首個有關孕婦和新生兒的口腔、腸道和其它微生物組群及相關全身狀況和免疫反應的研究。
這項具創新性的研究,將有助建立針對婦女兒童精準預防和個性化醫療保健的全新管理模式。
這項名為「基於宏基因組和拉曼組技術對女性口腔/牙周狀況與母嬰健康關係的微生物組群分析與臨床應用」的研究,由港大牙醫學院現代牙科基金教授(臨床牙醫科學)、牙周病學臨床教授金力堅帶領,獲深圳市科技創新委員會 - 深港創新圈項目撥款328萬港元資助,爲期兩年。
金教授的團隊將與深圳市婦幼保健院姚吉龍院長的團隊,以及中國科學院青島生物能源與過程研究所徐健教授的研究組,緊密合作,收集數據資料作深入分析研究。
金教授指出:「今次的研究提供了很好的機會,深入分析了解孕婦在懷孕期間的整個關鍵過程,從產前護理至產後哺乳,其口腔和牙周狀況與全身健康之間的密切關聯。而透過深入分析唾液和其他體液,可以識別孕產婦口腔微生物組群和相關全身狀況的動態特徵,有助健康監測及潛在風險的評估。」
研究有幾個重點,包括:
  1. 懷孕期和產後女性的口腔、腸道和其它微生物組群及其相關的全身狀況和免疫反應,與她們的口腔/牙周健康狀況及其新生兒微生物組群的關係;
  2. 通過尖端的宏基因組和拉曼組技術識別特徵性生物標誌物;
  3. 評估潛在不良妊娠風險,從而提升母親和新生兒的醫療保健水平
金力堅教授補充說:「早在2004年,美國牙周病學會針對孕婦牙周健康與保健制定了專業建議和指南。然而,國內目前還沒有關於懷孕婦女及新生兒的口腔和牙周保健的專業指引。期望透過今次跨學科團隊合作,能獲取新的科學證據,為中國及其他國家和地區婦女兒童的健康與福祉,建立精準口腔醫療保健的整體框架做出貢獻。」。
 
傳媒查詢︰
香港大學牙醫學院 - 高級傳訊主任 鄧慧中 女士
(電話:2859 0494 / 9155 0980;電郵:melodytang@hku.hk)
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