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Caries Res. 2009;43(4):308-13. doi: 10.1159/000222659. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

The isolation of bifidobacteria from occlusal carious lesions in children and adults.

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Dental Institute, King's College London, London, UK.


The aim of this study was to enumerate and identify bifidobacteria from occlusal carious lesions in permanent and deciduous teeth. Samples of infected dentine were obtained from 24 active occlusal lesions in deciduous teeth and from 15 occlusal lesions in permanent teeth. Plaque samples from sound occlusal surfaces of 12 caries-free adults and 12 children were also obtained. The bifidobacterial strains were isolated in mupirocin-containing selective media, Gram-stained and subcultured for identification. Total bacterial counts were determined using fastidious anaerobic agar, and isolates were identified using genus-specific PCR primers and were confirmed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Bifidobacteria were isolated from 13 of the 15 occlusal lesions in the adults and formed 5.09 +/- 2.11% of the total cultivable flora. In the children, bifidobacteria were isolated from 16 of the 24 occlusal lesions and formed 7.4 +/- 2.6% of the total flora. No bifidobacteria were isolated from the occlusal surfaces of caries-free adults or children. A total of 424 bifidobacteria were identified and these were Bifidobacteriumdentium, Parascardovia denticolens, Scardoviainopicata, Bifidobacterium longum, Scardovia genomosp. C1 and Bifidobacterium breve. B. dentium was present in 14 out of the 16 bifidobacteria-positive samples from the lesions on the deciduous teeth and in 7 out of the 13 positive lesions in adults (p = 0.04). The present data suggest that bifidobacteria may play a role in the progression of occlusal caries lesions in both children and adults.

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