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Molecular and serological typing of Streptococcus mutans strains isolated from young Galician population: relationship with the oral health status

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The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Streptococcus mutans and its serotypes in samples from oral cavity of young Galician population and their relationship with the oral health state. The variables generally associated with dental caries, such as salivary flow rate, buffering capacity, eating habits, and lifestyle, were also analysed. No relationship was found between the variables studied and the presence of S. mutans in the oral cavity or the existence of dental caries. Presumptive strains of S. mutans were isolated from saliva samples from 48% of the analysed population. The use of conventional microbiological methods, API 20 Strep system, and species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allowed to substantiate the identity of the strains as S. mutans. Multiplex PCR protocols, developed in this study for the simultaneous detection of S. mutans and serotypes c, e, and f and for detection of S. mutans and serotype k, also confirmed this result and demonstrated that serotype c was predominant in the studied young Galician population (86%). Serotypes e (8%), k (3%), and f (2%) were also detected. Serotype c was detected in carious and caries-free subjects, while the remaining serotypes were only found in subjects with caries.

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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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Nancy Saltos Rosero thanks to the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENESCYT) of Ecuador for the pre-doctoral scholarship and to Dr. Yoshihisa Yamashita from the Kyushu University of Japan for kindly providing us with S. mutans strains.

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Correspondence to Ysabel Santos.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All volunteers signed a written informed consent approved by the Bioethics Committee of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. Each questionnaire and saliva sample obtained in this study was identified by a number, so that it could not be associated with any person.

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Saltos Rosero, N., Seoane Prado, R., Aguilera Guirao, A. et al. Molecular and serological typing of Streptococcus mutans strains isolated from young Galician population: relationship with the oral health status. Int Microbiol 23, 589–596 (2020).

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