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New mouth bacteria species found

11th August 2008

Researchers have discovered a completely new type of bacteria which is believed to "contribute to gum disease and tooth decay".


The bacteria has been called "Prevotella histicola". The bacteria was found within the mouth and the term "histicola" means "inhabitant of tissues" in Latin.

The discovery could aid scientists to comprehend how a change in bacteria levels contributes to mouth disorders.

The discovery was published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology.

Professor William Wade, from the Dental Institute at King's College London, discovered three types of the new bacteria living in the fleshy inside of the mouth.

"The healthy human mouth is home to a tremendous variety of microbes including viruses, fungi, protozoa and bacteria," he said.

"The bacteria are the most numerous - there are 100 million in every millilitre of saliva and more than 600 different species in the mouth."

This group of bacteria has been previously connected with mouth problems.

Decay in teeth and gum disease are the most prevalent bacterial bugs in human beings and may be caused by changing "microbial flora" in the mouth.

Professor Hugh Pennington, an Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at Aberdeen University, said further investigation into the many unknown types of bacteria found in the mouth was important.

"These bacteria are thought to have an involvement in dental caries and other mouth problems, so describing them gives you a broader picture of the causation of these."


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Article Information

Title: New mouth bacteria species found
Author: Claire Tuckey
Article Id: 7844
Date Added: 11th Aug 2008


BBC News

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