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Oral microflora in infants delivered vaginally and by caesarean section.

Journal article
Authors Mette Nelun Barfod
Kerstin Magnusson
Michala Oron Lexner
Susanne Blomqvist
Gunnar Dahlén
Svante Twetman
Published in International journal of paediatric dentistry / the British Paedodontic Society [and] the International Association of Dentistry for Children
Volume 21
Issue 6
Pages 401-6
ISSN 1365-263X
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Odontology
Pages 401-6
Language en
Subject categories Microbiology in the medical area, Oral microbiology, Paedodontics


BACKGROUND.  Early in life, vaginally delivered infants exhibit a different composition of the gut flora compared with infants delivered by caesarean section (C-section); however, it is unclear whether this also applies to the oral cavity. AIM.  To investigate and compare the oral microbial profile between infants delivered vaginally and by C-section. DESIGN.  This is a cross-sectional case-control study. Eighty-four infants delivered either vaginally (n = 42) or by C-section (n = 42) were randomly selected from the 2009 birth cohort at the County Hospital in Halmstad, Sweden. Medically compromised and premature children (<32 weeks) were excluded. The mean age was 8.25 months (range 6-10 months), and parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, and hygiene habits. Saliva was collected and analysed using checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridization. RESULTS.  A higher prevalence of salivary Streptococcus salivarius, Lactobacillus curvata, Lactobacillus salivarius, and Lactobacuillus casei was detected in infants delivered vaginally (P < 0.05). The caries-associated bacteria Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus were detected in 63% and 59% of all children, respectively. CONCLUSION.  A significantly higher prevalence of certain strains of health-related streptococci and lactobacilli was found in vaginally delivered infants compared with infants delivered by C-section. The possible long-term effects on oral health need to be further investigated.

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