The proposed studies are anticipated to yield important new information as to the presence of specific genetic determinants found in Streptococcus mutans, a microbe strongly associated with a severe dental caries in affecting young children called severe early childhood caries or S-ECC. The long-term benefit of such information should lead researchers toward devising both diagnostic and preventive strategies against dental though better understanding its microbial causation. Using a powerful technique of suppressive subtraction DNA hybridization, the first specific aim is to test the hypothesis that strains of S. mutans found in S-ECC children differ in genetic composition compared to strains found in caries-free (CF) children. Unique genetic loci that are specific to S-ECC strains will be identified and characterized. Some of these genetic loci will prove informative as biomarkers for health or disease. Using the power of multiple test analyses derived artificial intelligence programming;biomarkers will be used as the basis for a modeling algorithm capable of classifying strains of S. mutans in one of two categories (S-ECC or CF).
The second aim of this study is to survey strains of S. mutans associated with either S-ECC or CF status for known or suspected genetic elements thought to influence the pathogenesis or virulence of S. mutans.
The third aim i s to survey a larger, racial/ethnical diverse population of S-ECC or CF children for the presence or absence of the biomarkers identified in the first two aims. It is anticipated that this research will yield genetic markers for disease capable of providing clinicians with a diagnostic test that can assess risk for developing S-ECC. 7.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Sciences Study Section (ODCS)
Program Officer
Lunsford, Dwayne
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New York University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Dentistry
New York
United States
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Argimon, Silvia; Konganti, Kranti; Chen, Hao et al. (2014) Comparative genomics of oral isolates of Streptococcus mutans by in silico genome subtraction does not reveal accessory DNA associated with severe early childhood caries. Infect Genet Evol 21:269-78
Argimon, Silvia; Alekseyenko, Alexander V; DeSalle, Rob et al. (2013) Phylogenetic analysis of glucosyltransferases and implications for the coevolution of mutans streptococci with their mammalian hosts. PLoS One 8:e56305
Caufield, P W; Li, Y; Bromage, T G (2012) Hypoplasia-associated severe early childhood caries--a proposed definition. J Dent Res 91:544-50
Argimon, Silvia; Caufield, Page W (2011) Distribution of putative virulence genes in Streptococcus mutans strains does not correlate with caries experience. J Clin Microbiol 49:984-92
Yang, R; Argimon, S; Li, Y et al. (2010) Determining the genetic diversity of lactobacilli from the oral cavity. J Microbiol Methods 82:163-9
Saxena, Deepak; Caufield, Page W; Li, Yihong et al. (2008) Genetic classification of severe early childhood caries by use of subtracted DNA fragments from Streptococcus mutans. J Clin Microbiol 46:2868-73
Ge, Y; Caufield, P W; Fisch, G S et al. (2008) Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguinis colonization correlated with caries experience in children. Caries Res 42:444-8
Caufield, Page W; Saxena, Deepak; Fitch, David et al. (2007) Population structure of plasmid-containing strains of Streptococcus mutans, a member of the human indigenous biota. J Bacteriol 189:1238-43
Li, Y; Ge, Y; Saxena, D et al. (2007) Genetic profiling of the oral microbiota associated with severe early-childhood caries. J Clin Microbiol 45:81-7
Caufield, P W; Li, Y; Dasanayake, A et al. (2007) Diversity of lactobacilli in the oral cavities of young women with dental caries. Caries Res 41:2-8

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