Pyrosequencing Analysis of the Salivary Microbiota of Healthy Chinese Children and Adults

Microb Ecol. 2013 Feb;65(2):487-95. doi: 10.1007/s00248-012-0123-x. Epub 2012 Sep 12.


Describing the biogeography of bacterial communities within the human body is critical for establishing healthy baselines from which to detect differences associated with diseases. Little is known, however, about the baseline of normal salivary microbiota from healthy Chinese children and adults. With parallel barcoded 454 pyrosequencing, the bacterial diversity and richness of saliva were thoroughly investigated from ten healthy Chinese children and adults. The overall taxonomic distribution of our metagenomic data demonstrated that the diversity of salivary microbiota from children was more complex than adults, while the composition and richness of salivary microbiota were similar in children and adults, especially for predominant bacteria. A large number of bacterial phylotypes were shared by healthy children and adults, indicating the existence of a core salivary microbiome. In children and adults, the vast majority of sequences in salivary microbiota belonged to Streptococcus, Prevotella, Neisseria, Haemophilus, Porphyromonas, Gemella, Rothia, Granulicatella, Fusobacterium, Actinomyces, Veillonella, and Aggregatibacter, which constituted the major components of normal salivary microbiota. With the exception of Actinomyces, the other seven non-predominant bacteria including Moraxella, Leptotrichia, Peptostreptococcus, Eubacterium, and members of Neisseriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, and SR1 showed significant differences between children and adults (p < 0.05). We first established the framework of normal salivary microbiota from healthy Chinese children and adults. Our data represent a critical step for determining the diversity of healthy microbiota in Chinese children and adults, and our data established a platform for additional large-scale studies focusing on the interactions between health and diseases in the future.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Biodiversity
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenome*
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Bacterial