Mother-to-child transmission of mutans streptococci

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Mutans streptococci (MS) are the major group of pathogens implicated in dental caries. Like other infectious diseases, transmission of the causative microorganisms is the initial and essential step that should be understood relative to disease control and prevention. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding MS transmission, especially from mothers to their children. Included are methods used to study transmission, sources of MS, initial acquisition, factors concerning transmission and prevention of transmission. Information accumulated over many decades showed the involvement of MS transmission in the pathogenesis of caries, hence several preventive measurements have been proposed. Nevertheless, some essential aspects remain to be elucidated for more benefits of practical application.

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