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The Oral Bacterial Communities of Children With and Without HIV Infection Open Access

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The oral microbial community (microbiota) plays a critical role in human health and disease. Alterations in the oral microbiota may be associated with disorders such as gingivitis, periodontitis, childhood caries, alveolar osteitis, oral candidiasis and endodontic infections. In the immunosuppressed population, the spectrum of potential oral disease is even broader, encompassing candidiasis, necrotizing gingivitis, parotid gland enlargement, Kaposi's sarcoma, oral warts and other diseases... Here, we used 454 pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA to examine the oral microbiome of saliva, mucosal and tooth samples from HIV positive and negative children. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were collected from a cross-section of patients undergoing routine dental care. Multiple specimens from different sampling sites in the mouth were collected for each patient. The diversity of the oral microbiota was analyzed to explore potential differences between individual patients, sample location, HIV status and various dental characteristics. We found that there were significant differences in the microbiome among the enrolled patients, and between all sampling locations. We did not identify significant differences between well-controlled HIV+ patients and HIV- controls, suggesting that well-controlled HIV+ patients essentially harbor similar oral flora compared to patients without HIV. Nor were significant differences in the oral microbiota identified between different teeth or with different dental characteristics. Additional studies are needed to better characterize the oral microbiome in children and those with poorly-controlled HIV infections.

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