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Arch Oral Biol. 1987;32(11):817-23.

Infection with the bacterium Streptococcus mutans and salivary IgA antibodies in mothers and their children.

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Department of Cariology, Faculty of Odontology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


Salivary IgA-antibody titres against different streptococcal antigens were measured in 64 mothers and their first-born children. Their presence and the level of Streptococcus mutans had been monitored for several years. The children had carried this bacterium for various lengths of time and now had varying numbers of salivary Strep. mutans. The subjects had participated in a longitudinal study completed one and a half years before, concerning prevention of early colonization of the child's mouth by Strep. mutans through measures undertaken by the mother. Whole-saliva samples were collected from all subjects and analysed by ELISA techniques for total IgA, and for IgA antibodies to whole cells of Strep. mutans serotype c and d, whole cells of Strep. sanguis, purified polysaccharide and protein antigens of Strep. mutans serotype c and d; a pool of Escherichia coli antigens was used as a control. No significant differences were found in the level of any of the specific IgA antibodies in children with different levels of indigenous Strep. mutans. A tendency to higher IgA antibody activity was found in children who had levels of Strep. mutans first detectable after three years of age and who had carried the bacterium for six months or less. The IgA antibody activity to Strep. mutans specific serotype c antigen and to whole cells of Strep. mutans serotype c (JC 2) was significantly higher in children with no caries experience when compared to children with more than two df-surfaces. This study offers no clear evidence for a protective role of salivary IgA antibodies against Strep. mutans colonization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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