Chapter 6 : Human Oral Bacterial Biofilms

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This chapter focuses on microbial colonization of enamel and cementum, the exposed hard surfaces of the oral cavity. A study demonstrated that about 50% of the oral microbiota remains to be characterized, a small percentage relative to that in other natural environments (99% to 99.9%). Furthermore, previously undescribed phylotypes revealed in this study using molecular methods were to a large extent closely related to other commonly isolated and cultured oral bacteria, and the molecular analysis of isolates from the relatively simple culture-based approach in this study resulted in a roughly 20% yield of previously undescribed phylotypes. It was estimated that the total number of phylotypes in the oral cavity would lie between 500 and 600 and that, when all phylotypes recognized in this study are taken into account, 85% of these are now known. Determining precisely how these mutations in participant species fit into the developmental processes of forming the larger multispecies communities remains a challenge to all researchers. The chapter also focuses on the progress made in identifying genes that may be important to the genetically regulated developmental pathway that defines oral biofilms. Studies of multiple-species communities present a particular problem of identifying the individual species, many of which are morphologically similar, after they are mixed within the community.

Citation: Kolenbrander P, Palmer, Jr. R. 2004. Human Oral Bacterial Biofilms, p 85-117. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch6
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Diagrammatic representation of bacterial colonization patterns on teeth in health and in severe periodontal disease. (A) Macroscopic comparison of colonization on healthy tooth with that on periodontally diseased tooth as revealed by osmium staining. Tissue-attachment area is not part of the plaque biomass. Plaque-free zone is immediately coronal to the tissueattachment site. After . (B) Diagram of colonization within periodontal pocket cross section as revealed by immunolabeling. Pocket is divided into nine regions (dotted lines). Organism abbreviations: An, ; Pg, ; Cr, ; Ec, ; Td, ; Fn, ; PnPi, /; Aa, Boldface indicates heavy colonization relative to other sites. Drawing after . Data compiled from Christersson et al., 1987; Kigure et al., 1995; Noiri et al., 1997, 2001; Noiri and Ebisu, 2000.

Citation: Kolenbrander P, Palmer, Jr. R. 2004. Human Oral Bacterial Biofilms, p 85-117. In Ghannoum M, O'Toole G (ed), Microbial Biofilms. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817718.ch6
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