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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2011 Nov;21(6):401-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2011.01136.x. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Oral microflora in infants delivered vaginally and by caesarean section.

Author information

1
Department of Cariology and Endodontics, Institute of Odontology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. stwe@sund.ku.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

  Early in life, vaginally delivered infants exhibit a different composition of the gut flora compared with infants delivered by caesarean section (C-section); however, it is unclear whether this also applies to the oral cavity.

AIM:

  To investigate and compare the oral microbial profile between infants delivered vaginally and by C-section.

DESIGN:

  This is a cross-sectional case-control study. Eighty-four infants delivered either vaginally (n = 42) or by C-section (n = 42) were randomly selected from the 2009 birth cohort at the County Hospital in Halmstad, Sweden. Medically compromised and premature children (<32 weeks) were excluded. The mean age was 8.25 months (range 6-10 months), and parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, and hygiene habits. Saliva was collected and analysed using checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization.

RESULTS:

  A higher prevalence of salivary Streptococcus salivarius, Lactobacillus curvata, Lactobacillus salivarius, and Lactobacuillus casei was detected in infants delivered vaginally (P < 0.05). The caries-associated bacteria Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus were detected in 63% and 59% of all children, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

  A significantly higher prevalence of certain strains of health-related streptococci and lactobacilli was found in vaginally delivered infants compared with infants delivered by C-section. The possible long-term effects on oral health need to be further investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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