A study of some cultural characteristics and blood serum antibodies: titers 0f enterococci isolated from the mouth and faeces
Slabbert, J C G
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Crevicular epithelium presents no effective barrier to the biologicaJly active constituents of plaque. Moreover, it seems that the production of circulating antibodies, the development of a state of delayed hypersensitivity and the development of immunologicai tolerance all play a part in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease. An investigation was undertaken to study the cultural characteristics of enterococci isolated from the mouth and gut of a group of students, and to determinethe serum antibody titres to these organisms. Enterococci were isolated from faeces and the gingival crevice of 9 male dental students. Blood was obtained from each subject and allowed to clot. The serum was removed and stored at -20 0 C• unt'i l requi• red. Blood serum antibody titres to the bacteria were obtained by the indirect fluorescent antibody technique. In order to investigate for the presence· of antibodies to homologous and heterologous enterococcal strains, each subject's serum was tested against all the strains of enterococci isolated. Higher antibody titres were obtained to oral enterococci than to faecal microorganisms. This investigation suggests that there are either differences in the immunogenic iii potential of oral and faecal streptococci or micro-environmental conditions in the host which favour antibody production to oral streptococci as opposed to streptococci in the gut. There are also differences in the cultural characteristics and bio= chemical reactions of the gut and mouth organisms.