Oral streptococcal colonization of infants

Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1993 Feb;8(1):1-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302x.1993.tb00535.x.


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and proportions of different streptococcal species among the streptococcal flora during infancy. A total of 60 oral samples were collected by oral swabbing of the buccal mucosa and alveolar ridges of 18 infants before tooth eruption and from buccal and lingual surfaces of teeth after tooth eruption. A total of 549 isolates on mitis salivarius agar were speciated, principally by recently revised biochemical criteria of Kilian et al. Streptococcus mitis biovar 1 predominated, both in prevalence (89%) and proportion of oral streptococci recovered in each sample (median = 87% of streptococcal flora). Streptococcus salivarius was also prevalent (94%) but generally represented a small percentage of the total streptococcal flora (median = 3%). Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus anginosus strains were detected in approximately one third of predentate and dentate infants in the first year of life. Streptococcus sanguis strains were not detected before tooth eruption, but could be detected in 7/14 of the infants with teeth. Thus, S. mitis constitutes the major component of the initially colonizing streptococcal microbiota of the young infant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Process / microbiology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mouth Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification*
  • Streptococcus sanguis / isolation & purification