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J Dent Res. 2004 Jun;83(6):500-4.

Clonal persistence of oral Fusobacterium nucleatum in infancy.

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Anaerobe Reference Laboratory, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


Once established, early-colonizing bacterial species tend to persist in the mouth. To obtain detailed information on the population dynamics of early-colonizing oral anaerobes, we examined the clonal diversity and persistence of clones among oral Fusobacterium nucleatum populations during the first 2 yrs of life. Consecutive salivary samples from 12 infants, collected at 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24 mos of age, yielded a total of 546 F. nucleatum isolates for clonal typing with arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR). Up to 7 AP-PCR types were simultaneously detected in each sample. In 11 out of the 12 infants examined, AP-PCR types persisted for up to 1 yr. Strain turnover rate was high during the first year of life, but then the occurrence of persistent clones increased. This study indicates a wide genetic diversity within the species and provides evidence for the increasing persistence of F. nucleatum clones in the oral cavity with age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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