Discipline: Biological Sciences
Maria Smith - Rochester Institute of Technology
Streptococcus mutans, the etiological agent of dental caries, is categorized into four serotypes, c, e, f and k, with serotypes f and k believed to have a prevalence of five percent. Not much is known about the prevalence of serotype k in the US. Previous reports have linked serotypes f and k to cardiovascular disorders and noted their prevalence within the eastern hemisphere. Extensive travel between the US and the rest of the world may increase the prevalence of serotypes f and k within the US. Processed saliva samples, from the RIT student population were analyzed using Taq Man and SYBR Green PCR, respectively, to determine f and k serotype distribution. Within the samples tested, serotype f was absent. Surprisingly, serotype k exhibited 31.37% prevalence, largely among African American females. Knowledge about serotype distribution, particularly serotype k may necessitate saliva screening before traumatic dental procedures, particularly within elderly populations.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
Faculty Advisor: Robert Osgood,