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Infect Immun. 1999 Apr;67(4):1878-86.

Humoral immunity to commensal oral bacteria in human infants: salivary secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies reactive with Streptococcus mitis biovar 1, Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus mutans, and Enterococcus faecalis during the first two years of life.

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  • 1Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA. colem@gunet.georgetown.edu

Abstract

Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) antibodies reactive with the pioneer oral streptococci Streptococcus mitis biovar 1 and Streptococcus oralis, the late oral colonizer Streptococcus mutans, and the pioneer enteric bacterium Enterococcus faecalis in saliva samples from 10 human infants from birth to age 2 years were analyzed. Low levels of salivary SIgA1 and SIgA2 antibodies reactive with whole cells of all four species were detected within the first month after birth, even though S. mutans and E. faecalis were not recovered from the mouths of the infants during the study period. Although there was a fivefold increase in the concentration of SIgA between birth and age 2 years, there were no differences between the concentrations of SIgA1 and SIgA2 antibodies reactive with the four species over this time period. When the concentrations of SIgA1 and SIgA2 antibodies reactive with all four species were normalized to the concentrations of SIgA1 and SIgA2 in saliva, SIgA1 and SIgA2 antibodies reactive with these bacteria showed a significant decrease from birth to 2 years of age. Adsorption of each infant's saliva with cells of one species produced a dramatic reduction of antibodies recognizing the other three species. Sequential adsorption of saliva samples removed all SIgA antibody to the bacteria, indicating that the SIgA antibodies were directed to antigens shared by all four species. The induction by the host of a limited immune response to common antigens that are likely not involved in adherence may be among the mechanisms that commensal streptococci employ to persist in the oral cavity.

PMID:
10085031
PMCID:
PMC96541
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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