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Original Research

Open Access

Time of initial acquisition of mutans streptococci by human infants

  • Flavia Martao Florio1,*,
  • Marlise Inez Klein1
  • Antonio Carlos Pereira1
  • Reginaldo Bruno Goncalves1

1Piracicaba School of Dentistry, State University of Campinas, 901, Limeira Avenue, Piracicaba, São Paulo – Brazil, ZIP CODE: 13414-900

DOI: 10.17796/jcpd.28.4.q327704r2425q5h9 Vol.28,Issue 4,October 2004 pp.303-309

Published: 01 October 2004

*Corresponding Author(s): Flavia Martao Florio E-mail:


The aim of this study was to detect and monitor the acquisition of mutans streptococci (MS) in healthy

Brazilian children. Samples of 4 different sites (saliva, tongue dorsum, dental ridges, and dental plaque,

if teeth were present) were collected from 33 edentulous nursery school infants (5.9±1.5 month-old),

using sterilized swabs, bi-monthly for 24 months. Saliva samples from the mothers were collected only

once. After inoculation, and incubation typical morphotype colonies, were isolated and submitted to

amplification by the technique of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for identification. The PCR

method identified 1667 strains as MS. In 29 of the children’s samples, the first positive culture for MS

occurred at 15.3 ± 4.6 months. At the end of the follow-up period, 77% of the children were classified

as colonized and in 33% MS was found as a transient microorganism. A positive correlation was

found between the time of MS acquisition by the infant and the number of erupted teeth (p<0.0001),

and the time of emergence of the first tooth (p=0.0048). After 24 months, there were no dental caries,

and 77% of children remained caries-free. These results indicate that MS colonization in this sample

of low-income pre-school children may begin earlier than suggested by some investigations.

Cite and Share

Flavia Martao Florio,Marlise Inez Klein,Antonio Carlos Pereira,Reginaldo Bruno Goncalves. Time of initial acquisition of mutans streptococci by human infants. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2004. 28(4);303-309.


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