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J Oral Microbiol. 2015 Sep 4;7:28223. doi: 10.3402/jom.v7.28223. eCollection 2015.

Progress in oral personalized medicine: contribution of 'omics'.

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Institute for Oral Systemic Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA.
Center for Human Genetics, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA;
Center for Human Genetics, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI, USA.



Precision medicine (PM), representing clinically applicable personalized medicine, proactively integrates and interprets multidimensional personal health data, including clinical, 'omics', and environmental profiles, into clinical practice. Realization of PM remains in progress.


The focus of this review is to provide a descriptive narrative overview of: 1) the current status of oral personalized medicine; and 2) recent advances in genomics and related 'omic' and emerging research domains contributing to advancing oral-systemic PM, with special emphasis on current understanding of oral microbiomes.


A scan of peer-reviewed literature describing oral PM or 'omic'-based research conducted on humans/data published in English within the last 5 years in journals indexed in the PubMed database was conducted using mesh search terms. An evidence-based approach was used to report on recent advances with potential to advance PM in the context of historical critical and systematic reviews to delineate current state-of-the-art technologies. Special focus was placed on oral microbiome research associated with health and disease states, emerging research domains, and technological advances, which are positioning realization of PM.


This review summarizes: 1) evolving conceptualization of personalized medicine; 2) emerging insight into roles of oral infectious and inflammatory processes as contributors to both oral and systemic diseases; 3) community shifts in microbiota that may contribute to disease; 4) evidence pointing to new uncharacterized potential oral pathogens; 5) advances in technological approaches to 'omics' research that will accelerate PM; 6) emerging research domains that expand insights into host-microbe interaction including inter-kingdom communication, systems and network analysis, and salivaomics; and 7) advances in informatics and big data analysis capabilities to facilitate interpretation of host and microbiome-associated datasets. Furthermore, progress in clinically applicable screening assays and biomarker definition to inform clinical care are briefly explored.


Advancement of oral PM currently remains in research and discovery phases. Although substantive progress has been made in advancing the understanding of the role of microbiome dynamics in health and disease and is being leveraged to advance early efforts at clinical translation, further research is required to discern interpretable constituency patterns in the complex interactions of these microbial communities in health and disease. Advances in biotechnology and bioinformatics facilitating novel approaches to rapid analysis and interpretation of large datasets are providing new insights into oral health and disease, potentiating clinical application and advancing realization of PM within the next decade.


big data; biomarkers; microbiota; precision medicine; ‘omics’

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