Early acquisition of Streptococcus mutans for children

Acta Odontol Latinoam. 2005;18(2):69-74.


Existing evidence reveals that in Early Oral Infection the main route of transmission of Streptococcus mutans is mother-child saliva contacts and that initial acquisition takes place during a specific period of time denominated "Window of Infectivity" that lapses between 6 and 30 months of the child's life, with a higher risk between 18 and 30 months of age. The aim of the present study was to analyze Early Oral Infection. The levels of Streptococcus mutans in saliva and bacterial plaque in the binomial mother-child 6 to 18 months after childbirth were evaluated. Twenty-four mother-child binomials that attended the University Hospital of Maternity and Neonatology of Córdoba participated in the study. Samples of saliva and dental plaque were taken from mother and child and seeded in selective Agar Mitis Salivarius Bacitracin medium (0.28 mg/ml) and cultured for 48 hours at 37 degrees C and in 5% CO2 to allow for the growth of Streptococcus mutans. The colonies were identified morphologically and biochemically. At 6 months after childbirth: 58.33% of the samples of the mother's saliva were positive, while the presence of the microorganism was not detected in 100% of the samples of the infants' saliva. At 18 months of after childbirth: 79.16% of the samples of saliva and 100% of the samples of the mothers' dental plaque were positive, whereas the samples of saliva and dental plaque of the infants were positive for Streptococcus mutans in 20.83% and 70.83% of the cases respectively. The initial acquisition of Streptococcus mutans would have occurred in 20.8% of the children at the age of 18 months. Eruption of primary molars occurs at this age.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Molar / physiology
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / transmission
  • Streptococcus mutans / classification
  • Streptococcus mutans / isolation & purification
  • Streptococcus mutans / physiology*
  • Tooth Eruption / physiology
  • Tooth, Deciduous / physiology