The Human Oral Metagenome
The human oral cavity is estimated to contain more than 750 bacterial species (Jenkinson and Lamont, 2005; Paster et al., 2006). Although this figure is controversial, the fact remains that up to half of the species in the oral microbiota cannot yet be cultivated in the laboratory. Therefore, metagenomics is a powerful way of accessing these unculturable bacteria in order to understand the role of the oral microbiota in health and disease and to mine for useful products such as enzymes, energy sources and antimicrobial agents. The Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD http://www.homd.org/) provides comprehensive information on what is known about the composition of the oral microbiota using information derived from cultivation and metagenomic data based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
KeywordsOral Cavity Dental Caries Quorum Sense Mobile Genetic Element Genomic Island
- Lockhart PB, Brennan MT, Sasser HC, Fox PC, Paster BJ, Bahrani-Mougeot FK (2008) Bacteremia associated with tooth brushing and dental extraction. Circulation 117:3118–3125Google Scholar
- Raghavendran K, Mylotte JM, Scannapieco FA (2007) Nursing home-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia and ventilator-associated pneumonia: the contribution of dental biofilms and periodontal inflammation. Periodontol 2000(2):1599–1607Google Scholar
- Wilson (2005) Microbial inhabitants of humans: their ecology and role in health and disease. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar