OHSU Pediatric ATP Study

Application of Adenosine Triphosphate-Driven Bioluminescence for Quantification of Plaque Bacteria and Assessment of Oral Hygiene in Children

Abstract: Purpose: Dentistry has undergone a shift in caries management toward prevention and improved oral hygiene and diagnosis. Caries prevention now represents one of the most important aspects of modern dental practice. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to demonstrate the use of adenosine triphosphate– (ATP–) driven bioluminescence as an innovative tool for the rapid chairside enumeration of oral bacteria (including plaque streptococci) and assessment of oral hygiene and caries risk. Methods: Thirty-three pediatric patients (7- to 12-year-old males and females) were examined, and plaque specimens, in addition to stimulated saliva, were collected from representative teeth within each quadrant. Oral specimens (n=150 specimens) were assessed by plating on enriched and selective agars, to enumerate total bacteria and streptococci, and subjected to adenosine triphosphate- (ATP-) driven bioluminescence determinations using a luciferase-based assay system. Results: Statistical correlations, linking ATP values to numbers of total bacteria, oral streptococci and mutans streptococci, yielded highly significant r values of 0.854, 0.840, and 0.796, respectively. Conclusions: Our clinical data is consistent with the hypothesis that ATP measurements have a strong statistical association with bacterial number in plaque and saliva specimens, including numbers for oral streptococci, and may be used as a potential assessment tool for oral hygiene and caries risk in children. (Pediatr Dent 2010;32:195-204) Received November 17, 2008 | Last Revision April 21, 2009 | Revision Accepted April 22, 2009

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ATP Bioluminescence: Rapid Quantification of Oral Bacteria; Departments of Pediatric Dentistry, Integrative Biosciences and Oral Pathology and Radiology and Academic DMD Program, School of Dentistry, Oregon Health and Science University; S Fazilat, R Sauerwein, J Kimmell, T Finlayson, J Engle, P Gagneja, T Maier, C A Machida

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