Characterizing oral microbial communities across dentition states and colonization niches.

Mason MR, Chambers S, Dabdoub SM, Thikkurissy S, Kumar PS
Microbiome 6 67 01/10/2018


METHODS: The present study aimed to identify patterns and processes in acquisition of oral bacteria and to characterize the microbiota of different dentition states and habitats. Mucosal, salivary, supragingival, and subgingival biofilm samples were collected from orally and systemically healthy children and mother-child dyads in predentate, primary, mixed, and permanent dentitions. 16S rRNA gene sequences were compared to the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD). Functional potential was inferred using PICRUSt.

RESULTS: Unweighted and weighted UniFrac distances were significantly smaller between each mother-predentate dyad than infant-unrelated female dyads. Predentate children shared a median of 85% of species-level operational taxonomic units (s-OTUs) and 100% of core s-OTUs with their mothers. Maternal smoking, but not gender, mode of delivery, feeding habits, or type of food discriminated between predentate microbial profiles. The primary dentition demonstrated expanded community membership, structure, and function when compared to the predentate stage, as well as significantly lower similarity between mother-child dyads. The primary dentition also included 85% of predentate core s-OTUs. Subsequent dentitions exhibited over 90% similarity to the primary dentition in phylogenetic and functional structure. Species from the predentate mucosa as well as new microbial assemblages were identified in the primary supragingival and subgingival microbiomes. All individuals shared 65% of species between supragingival and subgingival habitats; however, the salivary microbiome exhibited less than 35% similarity to either habitat.

CONCLUSIONS: Within the limitations of a cross-sectional study design, we identified two definitive stages in oral bacterial colonization: an early predentate imprinting and a second wave with the eruption of primary teeth. Bacterial acquisition in the oral microbiome is influenced by the maternal microbiome. Personalization begins with the eruption of primary teeth; however, this is limited to phylogeny; functionally, individuals exhibit few differences, suggesting that microbial assembly may follow a defined schematic that is driven by the functional requirements of the ecosystem. This early microbiome forms the foundation upon which newer communities develop as more colonization niches emerge, and expansion of biodiversity is attributable to both introduction of new species and increase in abundance of predentate organisms.

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