Our primary objective is to phylogenetically characterize the supragingival plaque bacterial microbiome of children prior to eruption of second primary molars by pyrosequencing method for studying etiology of early childhood caries.
Supragingival plaque samples were collected from 10 caries children and 9 caries-free children. Plaque DNA was extracted, used to generate DNA amplicons of the V1–V3 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, and subjected to 454-pyrosequencing.
On average, over 22,000 sequences per sample were generated. High bacterial diversity was noted in the plaque of children with caries [170 operational taxonomical units (OTU) at 3% divergence] and caries-free children (201 OTU at 3% divergence) with no significant difference. A total of 8 phyla, 15 classes, 21 orders, 30 families, 41 genera and 99 species were represented. In addition, five predominant phyla (Firmicute, Fusobacteria, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria) and seven genera (Leptotrichia, Streptococcus, Actinomyces, Prevotella, Porphyromonas, Neisseria, and Veillonella) constituted a majority of contents of the total microbiota, independent of the presence or absence of caries. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) presented that caries-related genera included Streptococcus and Veillonella; while Leptotrichia, Selenomonas, Fusobacterium, Capnocytophaga and Porphyromonas were more related to the caries-free samples. Neisseria and Prevotella presented approximately in between. In both groups, the degree of shared organism lineages (as defined by species-level OTUs) among individual supragingival plaque microbiomes was minimal.
Our study represented for the first time using pyrosequencing to elucidate and monitor supragingival plaque bacterial diversity at such young age with second primary molar unerrupted. Distinctions were revealed between caries and caries-free microbiomes in terms of microbial community structure. We observed differences in abundance for several microbial groups between the caries and caries-free host populations, which were consistent with the ecological plaque hypothesis. Our approach and findings could be extended to correlating microbiomic changes after occlusion establishment and caries treatment.