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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 12;9(2):e76458. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076458. eCollection 2014.

Saliva microbiota carry caries-specific functional gene signatures.

Author information

  • 1Oral Research Center, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, Shandong, China.
  • 2Shandong Key Laboratory of Energy Genetics, CAS Key Laboratory of Biofuels and BioEnergy Genome Center, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, Shandong, China.
  • 3Institute for Environmental Genomics and Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, United States of America.
  • 4Department of Statistics, University of California, Riverside, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Human saliva microbiota is phylogenetically divergent among host individuals yet their roles in health and disease are poorly appreciated. We employed a microbial functional gene microarray, HuMiChip 1.0, to reconstruct the global functional profiles of human saliva microbiota from ten healthy and ten caries-active adults. Saliva microbiota in the pilot population featured a vast diversity of functional genes. No significant distinction in gene number or diversity indices was observed between healthy and caries-active microbiota. However, co-presence network analysis of functional genes revealed that caries-active microbiota was more divergent in non-core genes than healthy microbiota, despite both groups exhibited a similar degree of conservation at their respective core genes. Furthermore, functional gene structure of saliva microbiota could potentially distinguish caries-active patients from healthy hosts. Microbial functions such as Diaminopimelate epimerase, Prephenate dehydrogenase, Pyruvate-formate lyase and N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase were significantly linked to caries. Therefore, saliva microbiota carried disease-associated functional signatures, which could be potentially exploited for caries diagnosis.

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