Like it or not, your mouth is home to a thriving community of microbial life. More than 600 different species of bacteria reside in this "microbiome," yet everyone hosts a unique set of bugs, and this could have important implications for health and disease.Now they just need to figure out how these different bacteria impact digestion and tooth decay. Can't wait until we can get remove the cavity forming bacteria from our mouths maybe administered via pro-biotic gum.
Scientists have now performed the first global survey of salivary microbes, finding that the oral microbiome of your neighbor is just as different from yours as someone across the globe.
In this study, scientists have conducted the first in-depth study of global diversity in a human microbiome, characterizing the microbial life in human saliva from regions around the world. The researchers, led by Dr. Mark Stoneking of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have sequenced and analyzed variation in the bacterial gene encoding 16S rRNA, a component of the ribosome, in the salivary "metagenome" of 120 healthy subjects from six geographic areas. Stoneking and colleagues then compared the sequences they found with a database of 16S rRNA sequences to categorize the types of bacteria present.
The group observed that there is considerable diversity of bacterial life in the saliva microbiome, both within and between individuals. However, they made an unexpected finding when comparing samples from different geographic areas. "The saliva microbiome does not vary substantially around the world," Stoneking described. "Which seems surprising given the large diversity in diet and other cultural factors that could influence the human salivary microbiome." Stoneking explained that this suggests the life inhabiting the mouth of your next-door neighbor is likely to be just as different from yours as someone on the other side of the world.