Studying the human oral microbiome: challenges and the evolution of solutions.

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Studying the human oral microbiome: challenges and the evolution of solutions.

Aust Dent J. 2017 Aug 29;:

Authors: Benn AM, Heng NC, Broadbent JM, Thomson WM

Since the pioneering work of van Leeuwenhoek in 1684, subsequently built upon by other renowned microbiologists Robert Koch, Willoughby Miller and G.V. Black, oral microbiology has developed innovative techniques to study the oral microflora (now termed the “oral microbiome”). The advent of molecular techniques such as DNA-DNA hybridisation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequencing has created an array of opportunities to construct a comprehensive picture of the diversity and composition of the oral microbiome. Approximately 700 oral bacterial species have been identified, of which 50% have yet to be cultivated, and some of these are known only by their signature DNA sequences. The synergism of ever-evolving culture-based and state-of-the-art culture-independent molecular techniques has facilitated in-depth understanding of the dynamics, acquisition and transfer of oral bacteria, along with their role in oral and general health and disease. Further research is needed to not only analyse but also to make sense of the ever-increasing volumes of data which these molecular techniques (especially high-throughput DNA sequencing) are generating, as well as why particular bacteria are present and what they are “actually doing” there. This review presents a comprehensive literature search of oral microbiology-related methods currently used to study the oral microbiome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

PMID: 28853139 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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