Molecular and clinical analyses of the gene encoding the collagen-binding adhesin of Streptococcus mutans.
ABSTRACT Streptococcus mutans is a known pathogen of dental caries and its major cell surface antigens have been widely investigated. Recently, an approximately 120 kDa Cnm protein with binding properties to type I collagen was identified, and its encoding gene (cnm) cloned and sequenced. In the present study, we sequenced cnm from 47 different clinical S. mutans strains and found that the nucleotide alignment of the collagen-binding domain was well conserved. We devised a PCR method for identifying the cnm gene, examined the prevalence of cnm-positive S. mutans strains in various mother-child groups, and assessed the significance of such strains for transmission and dental caries. The detection rate of cnm-positive strains was significantly lower in strains isolated from Japanese children in the 2000s (8.0 %) as compared to those isolated in the 1980s (15.8 %) (P<0.05). Furthermore, the presence of S. mutans possessing cnm in salivary specimens collected from 55 S. mutans-positive mother-child pairs was 40 and 32.7 % in the mothers and children, respectively. The frequency of cnm-positive children whose mothers were also positive was 72 %, which was significantly higher than that of cnm-positive children with negative mothers (P<0.0001, odds ratio 17.5). In addition, clinical parameters indicating dental caries were significantly increased in children with cnm-positive S. mutans in saliva (n=13), as compared to those with cnm-negative S. mutans (n=15) and S. mutans-negative children (n=20) (P<0.01). These results indicate that cnm-positive S. mutans strains are closely correlated with dental caries, while vertical transmission in cnm-positive mother-child pairs was also demonstrated.
Article: The Bifidobacterium dentium Bd1 genome sequence reflects its genetic adaptation to the human oral cavity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bifidobacteria, one of the relatively dominant components of the human intestinal microbiota, are considered one of the key groups of beneficial intestinal bacteria (probiotic bacteria). However, in addition to health-promoting taxa, the genus Bifidobacterium also includes Bifidobacterium dentium, an opportunistic cariogenic pathogen. The genetic basis for the ability of B. dentium to survive in the oral cavity and contribute to caries development is not understood. The genome of B. dentium Bd1, a strain isolated from dental caries, was sequenced to completion to uncover a single circular 2,636,368 base pair chromosome with 2,143 predicted open reading frames. Annotation of the genome sequence revealed multiple ways in which B. dentium has adapted to the oral environment through specialized nutrient acquisition, defences against antimicrobials, and gene products that increase fitness and competitiveness within the oral niche. B. dentium Bd1 was shown to metabolize a wide variety of carbohydrates, consistent with genome-based predictions, while colonization and persistence factors implicated in tissue adhesion, acid tolerance, and the metabolism of human saliva-derived compounds were also identified. Global transcriptome analysis demonstrated that many of the genes encoding these predicted traits are highly expressed under relevant physiological conditions. This is the first report to identify, through various genomic approaches, specific genetic adaptations of a Bifidobacterium taxon, Bifidobacterium dentium Bd1, to a lifestyle as a cariogenic microorganism in the oral cavity. In silico analysis and comparative genomic hybridization experiments clearly reveal a high level of genome conservation among various B. dentium strains. The data indicate that the genome of this opportunistic cariogen has evolved through a very limited number of horizontal gene acquisition events, highlighting the narrow boundaries that separate commensals from opportunistic pathogens.PLoS Genetics 12/2009; 5(12):e1000785. · 8.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Concepts and beliefs about the cause of dental caries have evolved over many centuries, with the involvement of microorganisms being recognized since the late 1800s. A main thrust of enquiry since then has been to tackle the question of the relative importance of different bacteria in the disease and this article will consider how technical advances in our ability to identify, cultivate and count different species has influenced our understanding. Over the last decade, molecular biological approaches have had a major impact on views of the relative contribution of particular species of plaque bacteria to the caries process. At a more detailed level, molecular genetic studies of species such as Streptococcus mutans have given new insights into the way in which particular genes and the functions that they encode may affect virulence.American journal of dentistry 10/2009; 22(5):304-10. · 0.76 Impact Factor