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. 2011 Nov;90(11):1298-305.
doi: 10.1177/0022034511421201. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Microbiota of Severe Early Childhood Caries Before and After Therapy

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Free PMC article

Microbiota of Severe Early Childhood Caries Before and After Therapy

A C R Tanner et al. J Dent Res. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Severe early childhood caries (ECC) is difficult to treat successfully. This study aimed to characterize the microbiota of severe ECC and evaluate whether baseline or follow-up microbiotas are associated with new lesions post-treatment. Plaque samples from 2- to 6-year-old children were analyzed by a 16S rRNA-based microarray and by PCR for selected taxa. Severe-ECC children were monitored for 12 months post-therapy. By microarray, species associated with severe-ECC (n = 53) compared with caries-free (n = 32) children included Slackia exigua (p = 0.002), Streptococcus parasanguinis (p = 0.013), and Prevotella species (p < 0.02). By PCR, severe-ECC-associated taxa included Bifidobacteriaceae (p < 0.001), Scardovia wiggsiae (p = 0.003), Streptococcus mutans with bifidobacteria (p < 0.001), and S. mutans with S. wiggsiae (p = 0.001). In follow-up, children without new lesions (n = 36) showed lower detection of taxa including S. mutans, changes not observed in children with follow-up lesions (n = 17). Partial least-squares modeling separated the children into caries-free and two severe-ECC groups with either a stronger bacterial or a stronger dietary component. We conclude that several species, including S. wiggsiae and S. exigua, are associated with the ecology of advanced caries, that successful treatment is accompanied by a change in the microbiota, and that severe ECC is diverse, with influences from selected bacteria or from diet.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
(A) Microbiota of severe-ECC and caries-free children by microarray. Percentage of children with reactivity to probes in HOMIM microarray. Taxa were selected as showing some difference between disease categories, with taxa detected more frequently in severe ECC to the left and in caries-free to the right. For data from all probes, see Appendix Table. Taxa showing associations with severe ECC included Slackia exigua, S. parasanguinis I & II, Prevotella species, and Neisseria flavescens. S. mutans was detected in 25% severe-ECC children in the microarray. (B) Microbiota of severe-ECC and caries-free children by taxon-specific PCR. Taxa showing greatest association with severe ECC were Bifidobacteriaceae, S. wiggsiae, and S. mutans in combination with these taxa. S. mutans was detected in 56% severe-ECC children by species-specific PCR.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
(A) Microbiota pre-treatment and at follow-up of severe-ECC children without new lesions after 12 mos monitoring. Taxa were selected as showing some difference between pre-treatment and follow-up, with taxa detected more frequently pre-treatment to the left and in follow-up to the right. Taxa detected less frequently 12 mos after treatment included S. mutans, C. concisus/C. rectus, C. gracilis, S. mitis biovar 2, and unnamed Capnocytophaga and Selenomonas taxa. Species detected more frequently in follow-up included P. propionicum, L. mirabilis, and C. sputigena. (B) Microbiota pre-treatment and at follow-up of severe-ECC children with new lesions during 12 mos of monitoring. Taxa are the same and in the same order as in Fig. 2A. While there is variation in taxa detection between pre-treatment and follow-up, none of the differences was significantly different. Comparison of Figs. 2A and 2B also illustrates baseline differences between the microbiota of children with and without new lesions in follow-up, including Prevotella Cluster IV (p = 0.001), Prevotella nigrescens (p = 0.01), and several Capnocytophaga taxa (Appendix Table).
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
PLS modeling plots. Inset: PLS score plot based on demographics, diet, and microbiota of severe-ECC and caries-free children. Children clustered into three groups, caries-free (formula image) and two ECC subgroups, C1 and C2 (formula image). The PLS model used caries at baseline as the dependent variable, and the microarray, PCR, dietary, clinical, and demographic information as the independent matrix. Main Plot: PLS loading scatter plot illustrating important variables for clustering. Cluster groups are as in the score plot (inset). Taxa with VIP-values > 1.0 are indicated as follows: HOMIM-detected taxa located in the lower left characterize caries-free children (formula image), whereas taxa located in the top and to the right characterize severe-ECC children [formula image and formula image (for species detected by PCR)]. Circles (formula image) represent other variables used in the analysis but not influential for clustering (VIP-values ≤ 1.0). Important taxa differentiating caries-free and severe-ECC children are generally consistent with those that differed in the univariate analyses.

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