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Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1993;4(2):159-76.

Virulence factors of mutans streptococci: role of molecular genetics.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Microbiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.


Biochemical approaches were utilized initially to identify the virulence factors of the mutans streptococci (primarily Streptococcus mutans and S. sobrinu). Traditional mutant analysis of these organisms further suggested the important role of several of these factors in cariogenicity. However, because these mutations were not clearly defined, the utilization of cloned genes was necessary to verify their significance. The introduction of molecular genetic approaches for characterizing these factors has led not only to a clearer understanding of the role of these virulence factors in cariogenicity but has also suggested some novel approaches for reducing further the incidence of dental caries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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