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New Bacteria Discovered In Oral Cavity!

Posted Dec 10 2008 3:46pm

Periodontal disease has always been an perennial enigma for the clinicians and researchers alike. One reason for such a ambiguity is because of the wide variety of bacterial species found in the oral cavity. many of these bacteria are yet unidentified. Any discovery of new species draws us that much closer to finding a answer to this disease.

Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria in the mouth. The finding could help scientists to understand tooth decay and gum disease and may lead to better treatments, according to research published in the August issue of theInternational Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. ( Read Abstract Here)

Scientists studied healthy tissue as well as tumours in the mouth and found three strains of bacteria called Prevotella that could not be identified. Prevotella species are part of the normal microbial flora in humans and are also associated with various oral diseases and infections in other parts of the body. The researchers named the new species Prevotella histicola; histicola means 'inhabitant of tissue'.

"Interestingly, this species was isolated from within the oral tissues, both in oral cancers and normal, healthy tissue," said Professor Wade. "This confirms other work showing that oral bacteria can invade both tissues and individual cells."

16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and DNA–DNA hybridization revealed that the strains constituted a novel group within the genus Prevotella, being most closely related to Prevotella melaninogenica and Prevotella veroralis. A novel species, Prevotella histicola sp. nov., is proposed to accommodate these strains. Prevotella histicola is saccharolytic and produces acetic acid and succinic acid as major end products of fermentation and trace to minor amounts of isovaleric acid and lactic acid.

Tooth decay and gum disease are the most common bacterial diseases of man and are caused by changes in the microbes normally present in the mouth. To understand these diseases better, scientists first need to know which bacteria are present in human mouths."A detailed description and name for each species of bacteria are needed so that different laboratories can recognize all of the bacterial species present in the mouth," said Professor Wade.

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