Association between Oral Candida and Bacteriome in Children with Severe ECC.J Dent Res. 2018 12; 97(13):1468-1476.JD
Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal organism frequently detected in the oral cavity of children with severe early childhood caries (S-ECC). Previous studies suggested the cariogenic potential of C. albicans, in vitro and in vivo, and further demonstrated its synergistic interactions with Streptococcus mutans. In combination, the 2 organisms are associated with higher caries severity in a rodent model. However, it remains unknown whether C. albicans influences the composition and diversity of the entire oral bacterial community to promote S-ECC onset. With 16s rRNA amplicon sequencing, this study analyzed the microbiota of saliva and supragingival plaque from 39 children (21 S-ECC and 18 caries-free [CF]) and 33 mothers (17 S-ECC and 16 CF). The results revealed that the presence of oral C. albicans is associated with a highly acidogenic and acid-tolerant bacterial community in S-ECC, with an increased abundance of plaque Streptococcus (particularly S. mutans) and certain Lactobacillus/Scardovia species and salivary/plaque Veillonella and Prevotella, as well as decreased levels of salivary/plaque Actinomyces. Concurrent with this microbial community assembly, the activity of glucosyltransferases (cariogenic virulence factors secreted by S. mutans) in plaque was significantly elevated when C. albicans was present. Moreover, the oral microbial community composition and diversity differed significantly by disease group (CF vs. S-ECC) and sample source (saliva vs. plaque). Children and mothers within the CF and S-ECC groups shared microbiota composition and diversity, suggesting a strong maternal influence on children's oral microbiota. Altogether, this study underscores the importance of C. albicans in association with the oral bacteriome in the context of S-ECC etiopathogenesis. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to examine how fungal-bacterial interactions modulate the onset and severity of S-ECC, potentially leading to novel anticaries treatments that address fungal contributions.