Relationship Between the Oral Microbiome and Caries Status of Young Twins

Host genetics and environmental factors have a significant impact on the oral microbiome. However, such external factors influencing the oral microbiome have yet to be investigated thoroughly using meta-omics approaches. Our study focuses on determining the links between early environment (shared and nonshared), genetics, epigenetics, and caries development. Our goals include characterizing the species and strains of dental plaque collected from twin pairs during a longitudinal study, characterizing the functional component of these samples with metagenomics and metatranscriptomics sequencing, and determining the link between host genetics and caries development—particularly in caries concordant and discordant twins.


Scientific reports. 2020-05-14; 10.1: 7954.
Longitudinal Study of Oral Microbiome Variation in Twins
Freire M, Moustafa A, Harkins DM, Torralba MG, Zhang Y, Leong P, Saffery R, Bockmann M, Kuelbs C, Hughes T, Craig JM, Nelson KE
PMID: 32409670
mBio. 2018-11-27; 9.6:
Supragingival Plaque Microbiome Ecology and Functional Potential in the Context of Health and Disease
Espinoza JL, Harkins DM, Torralba M, Gomez A, Highlander SK, Jones MB, Leong P, Saffery R, Bockmann M, Kuelbs C, Inman JM, Hughes T, Craig JM, Nelson KE, Dupont CL
PMID: 30482830
Cell host & microbe. 2017-09-13; 22.3: 269-278.e3.
Host Genetic Control of the Oral Microbiome in Health and Disease
Gomez A, Espinoza JL, Harkins DM, Leong P, Saffery R, Bockmann M, Torralba M, Kuelbs C, Kodukula R, Inman J, Hughes T, Craig JM, Highlander SK, Jones MB, Dupont CL, Nelson KE
PMID: 28910633
Microbial ecology. 2017-02-01; 73.2: 492-503.
The Oral Microbiome of Children: Development, Disease, and Implications Beyond Oral Health
Gomez A, Nelson KE
PMID: 27628595


Funding for this project provided through the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

Key Staff

  • Claire Kuelbs


Toby Hughes
Adelaide Dental Hospital

Jeffrey Craig
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

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