Mode of delivery and other maternal factors influence the acquisition of Streptococcus mutans in infants

Y. Li, P. W. Caufield, A. P. Dasanayake, H. W. Wiener, S. H. Vermund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


S. mutans plays a key role in dental caries. The extent to which perinatal events influence the acquisition of S. mutans is unclear. We hypothesized that several maternal factors, including the mode of delivery, influence the initial acquisition of S. mutans in infants. A prospective cohort study was conducted in 156 mother-infant pairs. The study found that maternal gestational age (p = 0.04), S. mutans level (p = 0.02), caries score (p = 0.02), sexually transmitted disease (STD) infection experience (p = 0.01), and family income (p = 0.03) had significant effects on the acquisition of S. mutans. Among infants who became infected, those delivered by Caesarean section acquired S. mutans 11.7 mos earlier than did vaginally delivered infants (p = 0.038). C-section infants harbored a single genotype of S. mutans that was identical to that of their mothers (100% fidelity). Analysis of the data demonstrated the possible perinatal influences on infants' acquisition of a member of the cariogenic microbiota, and its potential effect on caries outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-811
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Acquisition
  • Caesarean
  • Dental caries
  • Perinatal factors
  • S. mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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