Analyses of Streptococcus mutans in saliva with species-specific monoclonal antibodies. Academic Article uri icon


  • Three species-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Streptococcus mutans were used to detect and quantify S. mutans levels in saliva. This study shows that MAb-based salivary S. mutans tests exhibit significantly higher specificity and sensitivity than the commonly used selective culture method. Examination of nearly 2,000 human saliva samples shows that S. mutans counts in human saliva vary from less than 10,000 to a high 36 million cells/mL. Over 15% of the saliva samples examined have salivary S. mutans counts over 500,000 cells/mL. When saliva samples were collected at different time points during a day, the number of salivary S. mutans in the same human subject varied, especially before and after sugar uptake. Additionally, data obtained from stimulated versus unstimulated saliva in the same human subjects differed greatly and appear to be completely uncorrelated. This study provides useful information and tools for analyzing the role of S. mutans in human dental caries.

published proceedings

  • Hybrid Hybridomics

author list (cited authors)

  • Gu, F., Lux, R., Anderson, M. H., del Aguila, M. A., Wolinsky, L., Hume, W. R., & Shi, W.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Gu, Fang||Lux, Renate||Anderson, Maxwell H||del Aguila, Michael A||Wolinsky, Lawrence||Hume, Wyatt R||Shi, Wenyuan

publication date

  • January 2002