PCR detection and identification of oral streptococci in saliva samples using gtf genes

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Mar;48(3):195-9. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2003.10.002.


Oral streptococci are major constituents of dental plaque, and their prevalence is implicated in various pathologies. Therefore, accurate identification of oral streptococci would be valuable for studies of cariogenic plaque and for diagnostic use in infective endocarditis. Many oral streptococci possess glucosyltransferase enzymes that synthesize glucan, which is an obligate component of dental plaque. We established a rapid and precise method to identify oral streptococci by PCR using the species-specific region from the glucosyltransferase gene. With the species-specific primers, Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus, S. salivarius, S. sanguinis, S. oralis, and S. gordonii could be successfully distinguished. Further, we developed a simple method to extract the bacterial DNA from saliva. Using the resultant DNA as a template, the proposed PCR detection was performed. Their distribution was in accord with results of conventional biochemical tests. These findings indicate that the present PCR method is useful for the analysis of oral streptococci and can be successfully used in clinical applications to identify pathogenic bacteria associated with oral infectious disease and/or endocarditis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mouth Mucosa / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling
  • Streptococcus mutans / genetics
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus oralis / genetics*
  • Streptococcus oralis / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Bacterial