Similarity of the oral microbiota of pre-school children with that of their caregivers in a population-based study

Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2002 Dec;17(6):379-87. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-302x.2002.170608.x.


This study evaluated the similarity between the oral microbiota of young children and that of their adult caregivers. Oral samples from children (174 dentate and 18 pre-dentate) aged 6-36 months and their caregivers in Saipan were assayed using a DNA probe assay. Many species including Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Actinomyces species, Campylobacter rectus, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Prevotella intermedia, and Porphyromonas gingivalis were detected in dentate and pre-dentate children, whereas Bacteroides forsythus was detected only in dentate children. A higher percentage of children were positive for the detection of an individual species if the caregiver was also positive. There were significant relative risks of species detection between dentate children and their caregivers. By logistic regression, there were significant positive associations between species detection in caregiver and in child, but not between species detection and child age or maternal education level. In conclusion, dental pathogens were detected in young, including pre-dentate, children. The microbial profiles of children were strongly associated with the microbiota of their caregivers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / isolation & purification
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification
  • Caregivers*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Status
  • Family
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Micronesia
  • Mothers / education
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Population Surveillance
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Prevotella intermedia / isolation & purification
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus sobrinus / isolation & purification