Cariogenic Pathogen Scardovia Wiggsiae Screening Among Pediatric Orthodontic Patients: A Pilot Study
Weston Milne, Ghazaleh Rezaei, Adam Whiteley and Karl Kingsley
Current Research in Dentistry
Dental caries remains one of the most prevalent oral health diseases in the United States, affecting nearly half of all children and a majority of adults. Most medically important cariogenic bacteria, including Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, Actinomyces and Veillonella species are well known, although recent evidence has identified the new cariogenic pathogen Scardovia wiggsiae (S. wiggsiae) among children and minorities with severe early childhood caries. Based upon these new findings, the goal of this project was to determine the prevalence of this new cariogenic pathogen S. wiggsiae from a repository of previously collected pediatric saliva samples from orthodontic patients. DNA was isolated from previously collected saliva samples (n=48) and was subsequently screened for the presence of S. wiggsiae using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and primers designed specifically to distinguish this organism. Fifteen (15) samples tested positive for S. wiggsiae, representing 31.25% of the samples screened. As previous studies from this laboratory using adult orthodontic patients and pediatric non-orthodontic patients revealed prevalence of and 14 and 21.5%, respectively - these findings suggest that the newly identified cariogenic pathogen S. wiggsiae may disproportionately affect pediatric orthodontic patients for reasons that are not well understood, which imply more detailed and focused research in this area is needed. As previous research has demonstrated that oral health status and caries risk may be related to education, income and socioeconomic status, these findings help to elucidate and contextualize the risks facing these populations.
© 2017 Weston Milne, Ghazaleh Rezaei, Adam Whiteley and Karl Kingsley. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.