Antibody Responses to Mutans Streptococci in School-Aged Children

Nguyen, Andrew, Hassan Oueis, Carolynn A. Zeitz, and Mohammad Salam


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of salivary antibodies in the natural immunity against dental caries pathogen mutans streptococci (ms).  Method: A total of 80, 5-12 year-old children were recruited from the outpatient clinic at University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Whole saliva stimulated by paraffin-chewing was collected and children were investigated for decayed, missing, and filled surfaces (DMFS) according to WHO criteria. The Dentocult® SM Strips were used to estimate ms count in stimulated saliva. Oral hygiene was determined according to the simplified Oral Hygiene Index (OHI-S) of Greene and Vermillion. Salivary IgG, IgM and IgA antibody responses against Streptococcus mutans were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data subjected to statistical analysis. 


Result: The results of our study showed an increased level of S. mutans specific-salivary IgG antibody activity with the increased number of dental caries lesions, which was statistically significant. On the other hand, children with low caries prevalence had a significantly higher amount of salivary IgA antibody against S. mutans compared to those with high caries prevalence.


Conclusion: The raised salivary IgG level in children with increased number of dental caries lesions might be the result of gingival stimulation through the crevicular fluid when there was plaque accumulation around the gingiva. Taken together, our results suggest that salivary IgA antibodies to S. mutans may play an important role in protective natural immunity to dental caries in school-aged children.