Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A little bit of spit reveals a lot about what lives in your mouth

27.02.2009
Like it or not, your mouth is home to a thriving community of microbial life. More than 600 different species of bacteria reside in this "microbiome," yet everyone hosts a unique set of bugs, and this could have important implications for health and disease.

In a study published online in Genome Research (www.genome.org), scientists have performed the first global survey of salivary microbes, finding that the oral microbiome of your neighbor is just as different from yours as someone across the globe.

The human body harbors ten times more bacterial cells than human cells – a stunning figure that suggests a likely dynamic between ourselves and the bacteria we carry, both in healthy and disease states. The National Institutes of Health recently launched an initiative to categorize the microbiomes of several regions of the body, with early studies focusing on the intestines and skin. It is appreciated that the human mouth, a major entry point for bacteria into the body, also contains a diverse array of microbial species. Yet microbiome diversity between individuals, and how this relates to diet, environment, health, and disease, remains unexplored.

In this study, scientists have conducted the first in-depth study of global diversity in a human microbiome, characterizing the microbial life in human saliva from regions around the world. The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced and analyzed variation in the bacterial gene encoding 16S rRNA, a component of the ribosome, in the salivary "metagenome" of 120 healthy subjects from six geographic areas. Stoneking and colleagues then compared the sequences they found with a database of 16S rRNA sequences to categorize the types of bacteria present.

The group observed that there is considerable diversity of bacterial life in the saliva microbiome, both within and between individuals. However, they made an unexpected finding when comparing samples from different geographic areas. "The saliva microbiome does not vary substantially around the world," Stoneking described. "Which seems surprising given the large diversity in diet and other cultural factors that could influence the human salivary microbiome." Stoneking explained that this suggests the life inhabiting the mouth of your next-door neighbor is likely to be just as different from yours as someone on the other side of the world.

Stoneking noted that by studying sequences from an easily obtained saliva sample, their work has provided the foundation for future studies exploring the influence of diet, cultural factors, and disease on variation in the saliva microbiome. In addition, the group's findings could help analyze human migrations and populations. While it may not be pleasant to think about the life teeming in your mouth, it is now evident that we will be able to learn a lot about oral health and disease by understanding what is living there.

Peggy Calicchia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>