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Initial Acquisition and Genetic Identity of Streptococcus mutans of Mother-child Pairs

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Purpose: This study's purpose was to investigate the transmission and genetic identity of Streptococcus mutans strains in mother-child pairs from Cordoba, Argentina in order to establish whether the mother was the main source of infection of the child. Methods: Seventeen mother-child pairs were analyzed, with samples taken of whole nonstimulated saliva and dental plaque when each child was 18 months old. The mothers gave their written, informed consent to participate in the study. The Streptococcus mutans strains were genotyped by the arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) technique using primers OPA-02, OPA-05, and OPA-13. Three statistical analyses were used to determine genetic identity (1) Dice similarity index, (2) principal coordinates analysis/minimum spanning tree (PCoA/MST) analysis, and (3) Neighbor-joining consensus tree. Results: The AP-PCR technique showed high genetic polymorphism in the S mutans strains. According to the Dice index, 10 of the 17 pairs presented genetic identity. Results from the PCoA/MST analysis and the Neighbor-joining consensus tree showed that 7 pairs presented high similarity and the other 3 showed moderate levels of similarity Conclusions: According to the results obtained with 3 primers and with 3 different statistical methods, we could determine that the mothers are an important source of infection for the child at an early age.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Assistant professor, Cátedra de Integral Niños y Adolescentes, Área Odontopediatría "A", Facultad de Odontología, National University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina 2: Assistant professor at the Hospital Universitario de Matemidad y Neonatología, National University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina 3: Professor at the Cátedra de Biología Celular, Facultad de Odontología, National University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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