Children provided saliva samples at 2- and 12-months and yearly thereafter. Maternal saliva samples from the two-month visit were available for 90 children with 1- and 2-year samples.
Saliva samples were sequenced for the V4 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene to measure the bacterial community.
Researchers identified ECC-associated taxa using random forests and tested if the presence and abundance of cariogenic taxa were associated with presence and abundance in maternal samples.
Although maternal transmission of cariogenic microbes has been a source of concern, the researchers found little correlation between maternal and child salivary microbiomes before age 2. By contrast, bacteria correlated between mothers and children were associated with a lower risk of ECC.