Salivary Glucosyltransferase B as a Possible Marker for Caries ActivityVacca Smith A.M.a · Scott-Anne K.M.b · Whelehan M.T.c · Berkowitz R.J.c · Feng C.d · Bowen W.H.b
aDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, bCenter for Oral Biology, cEastman Department of Dentistry and dDepartment of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., USA
William H. Bowen, BDS, PhD
University of Rochester, Center for Oral Biology
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 611
Rochester, NY 14642 (USA)
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Bacteria-derived glucosyltransferases (Gtf) (EC 18.104.22.168), through synthesizing glucan polymers from sucrose and starch hydrolysates, play an essential role in the etiology and pathogenesis of caries. We attempted to correlate the levels of Gtf in whole saliva with the prevalence of carious lesions in young children. We examined saliva from children who were either free of overt carious lesions, or had severe early childhood caries (mean dmfs = 18.72 ± 9.0 SD), for Gtf by direct enzyme assay. The levels of GtfB, GtfC and GtfD from Streptococcus mutans in the saliva using monoclonal/specific antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were determined. Multiple logistic regression analyses with model selection showed that GtfB levels correlated with dmfs values of the subjects (p = 0.006). There was no correlation between total Gtf activity as measured by direct enzyme assay and dmfs values. There was a strong correlation between mutans streptococci populations in saliva and caries activity. Collectively, these data show that GtfB levels in saliva correlate strongly with presence of clinical caries and with number of carious lesions in young children. It is also possible to measure different Gtfs, separately, in whole saliva. These observations may have important clinical implications, may lead to development of a chair side caries activity test and support the importance of GtfB in the pathogenesis of dental caries.
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