The microbial abundance dynamics of the paediatric oral cavity before and after sleep

Jessica A P Carlson-Jones, Anna Kontos, Declan Kennedy, James Martin, Kurt Lushington, Jody McKerral, James S Paterson, Renee J Smith, Lisa M Dann, Peter Speck, James G Mitchell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Microhabitats in the oral cavity differ in microbial taxonomy. However, abundance variations of bacterial and viral communities within these microhabitats are not fully understood. Aims and Hypothesis: To assess the spatial distribution and dynamics of the microbial abundances within 6 microhabitats of the oral cavity before and after sleep. We hypothesise that the abundance distributions of these microbial communities will differ among oral sites. Methods: Using flow cytometry, bacterial and virus-like particle (VLP) abundances were enumerated for 6 oral microhabitats before and after sleep in 10 healthy paediatric sleepers. Results: Bacterial counts ranged from 7.2 ± 2.8 × 105 at the palate before sleep to 1.3 ± 0.2 × 108 at the back of the tongue after sleep, a difference of 187 times. VLPs ranged from 1.9 ± 1.0 × 106 at the palate before sleep to 9.2 ± 5.0 × 107 at the back of the tongue after sleep, a difference of 48 times. Conclusion: The oral cavity is a dynamic numerically heterogeneous environment where microbial communities can increase by a count of 100 million during sleep. Quantification of the paediatric oral microbiome complements taxonomic diversity information to show how biomass varies and shifts in space and time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1741254
    JournalJournal of oral microbiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2020

    Cite this