Genetic classification of severe early childhood caries by use of subtracted DNA fragments from Streptococcus mutans

Deepak Saxena, Page W. Caufield, Yihong Li, Stuart Brown, Jinmei Song, Robert Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Streptococcus mutans is one of several members of the oral indigenous biota linked with severe early childhood caries (S-ECC). Because most humans harbor S. mutans, but not all manifest disease, it has been proposed that the strains of S. mutans associated with S-ECC are genetically distinct from those found in caries-free (CF) children. The objective of this study was to identify common DNA fragments from S. mutans present in S-ECC but not in CF children. Using suppressive subtractive hybridization, we found a number of DNA fragments (biomarkers) present in 88 to 95% of the S-ECC S. mutans strains but not in CF S. mutans strains. We then applied machine learning techniques including support vector machines and neural networks to identify the biomarkers with the most predictive power for disease status, achieving a 92% accurate classification of the strains as either S-ECC or CF associated. The presence of these gene fragments in 90 to 100% of the 26 S-ECC isolates tested suggested their possible functional role in the pathogenesis of S. mutans associated with dental caries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2868-2873
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume46
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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