Streptococcus mutans make a major etiological agent for dental caries. S. mutans strains expressing collagen-binding proteins (CBPs) are related to the pathogenesis of systemic diseases. However, their acquisition and colonization remain unknown.
Otsugu M. et al., in their recent study, investigated the detection rates of CBP-positive S. mutans strains in children and their guardians to explain the environment for the acquisition and colonization in children. They collected Saliva samples from children and their mothers and detected S. mutans and collagen-binding genes (cnm, cbm) by PCR after DNA extraction. They examined the oral status of each child and subjected their mothers to complete a questionnaire.
The investigators observed a significantly higher isolation rate of Cnm-positive S. mutans in mothers than in children. Notably, they also observed the possession rates of CBP-positive strains in children to be significantly higher in children whose mothers had CBP-positive strains than in children whose mothers did not. Furthermore, they observed a significantly shorter breastfeeding period in children with CBP-positive strains than in children without these strains.
These results suggest that nutritional feeding habits in infancy are one of the factors involved in the acquisition and colonization of CBP-positive S. mutans strains.
Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 20;12(1):17510. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-22378-8. PMID: 36266432; PMCID: PMC9585102.
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