Plaques from different individuals yield different microbiota responses to oral-antiseptic treatment

Sara K. Filoche 1 , Dennes Soma 1 , Margo van Bekkum 1 & Chris H. Sissons 1
1 Dental Research Group, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand


Dental caries is a polymicrobial disease and complicated to treat. Understanding the microbiota responses to treatment from different individuals is a key factor in developing effective treatments. The aim of this study was to investigate the 24-h posttreatment effect of two oral antiseptics (chlorhexidine and Listerine®) on species composition of microplate plaque biofilms that had been initiated from the saliva of five different donors and grown in both 0.15% and 0.5% sucrose. Plaque composition was analyzed using checkerboard DNA : DNA hybridization analysis, which comprised of a panel of 40 species associated with oral health and disease. The supernatant pH of the plaques grown in 0.15% sucrose ranged from 4.3 to 6 and in 0.5% sucrose, it ranged from 3.8 to 4. Plaque biomass was largely unaffected by either antiseptic. Each donor had a different salivary microbial profile, differentiating according to the prevalence of either caries or periodontal/anaerobic pathogens. Despite similar plaque microbiota compositions being elicited through the sucrose growth conditions, microbiota responses to chlorhexidine and Listerine® differentiated according to the donor. These findings indicate that efficacious caries treatments would depend on the responses of an individual's microbiota, which may differ from person to person.


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