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This article is part of the supplement: Biotechnology and Biomaterials to Reduce the Caries Epidemic

Open Access Proceedings

Virulence properties of cariogenic bacteria

Howard K Kuramitsu* and Bing-Yan Wang

Author Affiliations

Department of Oral Biology, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA

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BMC Oral Health 2006, 6(Suppl 1):S11  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-6-S1-S11

Published: 15 June 2006

Abstract

The importance of Streptococcus mutans in the etiology of dental caries has been well documented. However, there is growing recognition that the cariogenic potential of dental plaque may be determined by the composite interactions of the total plaque bacteria rather than solely the virulence properties of a single organism. This study will examine how the interactions of S. mutans with other biofilm constituents may influence the cariogenicity of plaque samples.

In order to begin to investigate the effects of nonmutans streptococci on the cariogenic potential of S. mutans, we have examined the effects of Streptococcus gordonii on the virulence properties of the former organisms. These studies have indicated that S.gordonii can attenuate several potential virulence properties of S. mutans including bacteriocin production, genetic transformation, and biofilm formation. Therefore, modulation of the interactions between plaque bacteria might be a novel approach for attenuating dental caries initiation.