Streptococcal diversity in oral biofilms with respect to salivary function

J. D. Rudney, Y. Pan, R. Chen

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29 Scopus citations


Objective: In a previous study, we screened 149 subjects and established four groups high or low for salivary killing of oral bacteria, and for aggregation and live and dead adherence of oral bacteria (as a combined factor). Caries scores were significantly lower in both High Aggregation-Adherence groups. In this study we looked at the effects of those differences in salivary function on the quantity and diversity of oral biofilm streptococci. Design: Subjects from those four groups were recalled for collection of overnight oral biofilm from buccal upper central incisors, lingual lower central incisors, buccal upper and lower first molars, and lingual upper and lower first molars. At each site, groups were compared for total biofilm (by DNA concentration), total streptococci (by quantitative PCR), and streptococcal diversity (by Streptococcus-specific denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis). Results: Total biofilm DNA and total streptococci were correlated. Both were highest on buccal molar surfaces and lowest on lingual lower central incisors, and both were significantly lower in the High Aggregation-Adherence groups (particularly at the buccal molar site). Fifty distinct bands were observed in denaturing gradient gels. There was great diversity within and between sites. Three major bands were present in almost every person at every site. Densities for two of those bands were significantly lower in both High Aggregation-Adherence groups. Other less-prevalent bands also showed the same pattern. Conclusion: These findings are consistent with our caries results in suggesting that differences in salivary function can influence the quantity and composition of streptococci in oral biofilms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-493
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for financial assistance.


  • Biofilm
  • Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
  • Human
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Saliva
  • Streptococcus


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