One of the major biological questions being targeted by the oral research community is how microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions affect health and disease. To achieve real progress on this goal, the following foundation and resources must be in place: 1) A shared ability to identify members of the oral microbiome and to access and analyze microbiome data; 2) Access to isolates of the microbiome for in vitro and in vivo analyses; and 3) Genomic information for all members of the microbiome so that we can understand their genetic makeup, and biochemical and pathogenic potential. The parent grant, ?A foundation for the Oral Microbiome and Metagenome? addressed these issues in the following three Aims: 1) Provide the research community with curated taxonomic and genomic information and tools to analyze oral microbiome data; 2) Allow in vivo and in vitro investigation of uncultivated oral taxa by obtaining isolates; and 3) Obtain genome sequences for oral bacterial species currently lacking genomic information. To fully understand microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions, studies of the human oral microbiome must be supplemented with investigations of defined oral microbiomes in animal model systems, such as mice, so the variables of microbial composition and host genetic background can be controlled (something that is impossible in human only studies). The proposed supplement expands the three aims of the parent grant to include organisms which investigators are likely to encounter in using mouse model systems. Many studies in mice involve putting select human pathogens in the mouths of mice. Unfortunately, such studies cannot document the initial mouse microbiome composition as the majority of bacterial species have not yet been identified and placed in a provisional naming scheme. Completion of this supplement will allow the research community to reliably identify mouse oral bacteria, examine their taxonomic and genomic information in a curated web accessible database, and significantly increase the rigor and reproducibility of oral microbiome research.

Public Health Relevance

Oral bacteria play a key role in human health and also in diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease, and a suspected role in heart disease, stroke and pre-term birth. The proposed supplemental research will allow scientists to rigorously study bacteria in mouse models of human oral diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
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Lumelsky, Nadya L
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Forsyth Institute
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