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Int J Oral Sci. 2011 Apr;3(2):49-54. doi: 10.4248/IJOS11025.

Multispecies communities: interspecies interactions influence growth on saliva as sole nutritional source.

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  • 1National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Human oral bacteria live in multispecies communities in the biofilm called dental plaque. This review focuses on the interactions of seven species and the ability of each species individually and together with other species to grow on saliva as the sole source of nutrient. Community formation in biofilms in flow cells is monitored using species-specific fluorophore-conjugated immunoglobulin G, and images are captured by confocal microscopy. Early colonizing veillonellae emerge from this review of interspecies interactions in saliva as a critical genus that guides the development of multispecies communities. Highly selective interspecies recognition is evident as initial colonizers pair with early and middle colonizers to form multispecies communities that grow on saliva.

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