Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Tegwyn Brickhouse


Purpose: The purpose was to examine the maternal influences on the development of infant oral biofim and dominant bacterial strains of at risk populations. Methods: The study used a cross-sectional design to examine factors influencing biofilm colonization and the identification of bacterial strains transmitted from mother to child. Participants were enrolled in Children’s Health Involving Parents of Greater Richmond (CHIP). Plaque and saliva samples were collected from mothers and their children ages 6-36 months. The colonized oral bacteria strains of the mother infant dyads were then compared. Oral bacterial strain identification was completed using the HOMIM Forsythe microbe identification array. Examination for concordant strains was done using the statistical boot strap shuffle in Excel. Results: Forty-one CHIP families were involved in the pilot study. Participants were predominantly non-white , less than high school education 46.3%, and their average age was 29.1 years. Mothers had a caries prevalence of 87.8% and the infant’s caries rate was 26.7%. To date n=14 pairs of the n=41 samples have been processed and analyzed using the HOMIM microarray. Twelve paired samples were not processed due to non-detectable levels of bacterial DNA. Fifteen samples are currently being processed by HOMIM Forsyth. Predominate species transferred from mother to child include S. Oralis, S. parasanguinous, S. mitis, Slakia, and S. anginosis. 425 unique strains of bacteria were analyzed on the array with a maternal concurrence rate of 33%. Conclusion: When comparing total bacterial populations in the oral environment a concurrence of transmission from mother to child was 33%. Higher rates of vertical transmission were observed in S. Oralis, S. sanguinous, and Slakia.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Included in

Dentistry Commons