Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It is associated with cerebral amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque deposition in the brain, synaptic disconnection, and subsequent progressive neuronal death. Although considerable progress has been made to elucidate the pathogenesis of AD, the specific causes of the disease remain highly unknown. Recent research has suggested a potential association between certain infectious diseases and dementia, either directly due to bacterial brain invasion and toxin production, or indirectly by modulating the immune response. Therefore, in the present review we focus on the emerging issues of bacterial infection and AD, including the existence of antimicrobial peptides having pore-forming properties that act in a similar way to pores formed by Aβ in a variety of cell membranes. Special focus is placed on oral bacteria and biofilms, and on the potential mechanisms associating bacterial infection and toxin production in AD. The role of bacterial outer membrane vesicles on the transport and delivery of toxins as well as porins to the brain is also discussed. Aβ has shown to possess antimicrobial activity against several bacteria, and therefore could be upregulated as a response to bacteria and bacterial toxins in the brain. Although further research is needed, we believe that the control of biofilm-mediated diseases could be an important potential prevention mechanism for AD development.
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