An Australian team has made a new breakthrough in autoimmune disease research.
They have identified the individual cells that cause autoimmune disease. These cells go rogue and evade the checkpoints that normally stop immune cells from targeting the body's own tissues.
Studies have linked rheumatoid and gum disease for many years, but the link has not been well understood, other than both diseases involve inflammation.
A new study from John Hopkins University has found that a bacterium that causes chronic gum infections also triggers the inflammatory autoimmune response found in rheumatoid patients.