Altered bacterial profiles in saliva from adults with caries lesions: a case-cohort study

Caries Res. 2014;48(5):368-75. doi: 10.1159/000357502. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The aim of this study was to learn whether presence of caries in an adult population was associated with a salivary bacterial profile different from that of individuals without untreated caries. Stimulated saliva samples from 621 participants of the Danish Health Examination Survey were analyzed using the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray technology. Samples from 174 individuals with dental caries and 447 from a control cohort were compared using frequency and levels of identified bacterial taxa/clusters as endpoints. Differences at taxon/cluster level were analyzed using Mann-Whitney's test with Benjamini-Hochberg correction for multiple comparisons. Principal component analysis was used to visualize bacterial community profiles. A reduced bacterial diversity was observed in samples from subjects with dental caries. Five bacterial taxa (Veillonella parvula, Veillonella atypica, Megasphaera micronuciformis, Fusobacterium periodontium and Achromobacter xylosoxidans) and one bacterial cluster (Leptotrichia sp. clones C3MKM102 and GT018_ot417/462) were less frequently found in the caries group (adjusted p value <0.01) while two bacterial taxa (Solobacterium moorei and Streptococcus salivarius) and three bacterial clusters (Streptococcus parasanguinis I and II and sp. clone BE024_ot057/411/721, Streptococcus parasanguinis I and II and sinensis_ot411/721/767, Streptococcus salivarius and sp. clone FO042_ot067/755) were present at significantly higher levels (adjusted p value <0.01). The principal component analysis displayed a marked difference in the bacterial community profiles between groups. Presence of manifest caries was associated with a reduced diversity and an altered salivary bacterial community profile. Our data support recent theories that ecological stress-induced changes of commensal microbial communities are involved in the shift from oral health to tooth decay.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Achromobacter denitrificans / isolation & purification
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteria / classification*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Fusobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Leptotrichia / classification
  • Male
  • Megasphaera / isolation & purification
  • Microbial Consortia
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Saliva / microbiology*
  • Smoking
  • Streptococcus / classification
  • Veillonella / classification
  • Young Adult