IgA antibodies to Streptococcus mutans in caries-resistant and -susceptible children.

P. T. Rose, R. L. Gregory, L. E. Gfell, C. V. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown a positive correlation between salivary IgA antibody levels to Streptococcus mutans and caries resistance in adults. In this study, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to compare IgA antibody levels with S. mutans in whole and parotid saliva from 20 caries-susceptible (CS; DMFS > 5) and 20 caries-resistant (CR; DMFS < or = 1) children (aged 7-11 years). Whole salivary S. mutans numbers were significantly greater (P < or = 0.05) in the CS group (mean of 31.2% of total oral streptococci) than in the CR group (mean of 1.6% of total oral streptococci). Whole saliva, but not parotid saliva, from CR children had significantly higher (P < or = 0.05) levels of IgA antibodies to S. mutans than saliva from CS children. These results suggest that salivary IgA antibodies to S. mutans may play a role in natural protection from dental caries in children and that the source of increased salivary IgA antibody in CR children may be either the minor, submandibular, or sublingual salivary glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-275
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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