Bacterial Diversity in the Saliva and Plaque of Caries-free and Caries-active Filipino Adults


Candids Patrice A. Reyes1 and Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
College of Medicine, University of the Philippines, Manila
2Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences,
University of the Philippines, Manila

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The oral cavity is inhabited by hundreds of bacterial species that play vital roles in maintaining oral health or in shifting to a diseased state such as dental caries. These microorganisms have been studied in the past using culture-dependent methods. However, due to the limitations of microbial identification through culture techniques, culture-independent techniques are currently being utilized to better understand the bacterial etiology of dental caries. In this study, molecular-based techniques were utilized to determine the bacterial profile of the saliva and supragingival dental plaque of caries-free and caries-active healthy Filipino adults. Bacterial DNA was amplified using primers for Eubacterial 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA), diversity was assessed through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and the microorganisms were identified through sequencing of the 16S rDNA. Based on the DGGE profile and 16S rDNA sequences, the caries-free group exhibited a more diverse microflora compared with its caries-active counterpart. This suggests that part of the microflora may be inhibited or absent in a caries-active oral cavity. This is the first study that provides a baseline profile of the oral microbial diversity in caries-free and caries-active Filipino adults using culture-independent techniques. This profile may assist researchers and dental practitioners to gain better understanding of the microbial etiology of dental caries. It may also be used in future caries risk assessment and anti-caries vaccine development.



Dental caries is a disease that involves the destruction of the calcified tissues of the teeth. It is caused by the interplay of factors involving various oral bacteria in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates surrounding the tooth over a period of time (Lamont & Jenkinson 2010; Lundeen & Roberson 1995). It is considered by the World Health Organization (2003) as one of the most important global oral health burdens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .





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