Virulence of Streptococcus mutans: Characterization of a serotype g antigen-defective mutant and its revertants

Academic Article


  • A mutant of Streptococcus mutans 6715 HSR, which is defective in serotype antigen and designated C307, was shown to exhibit full virulence on buccal, sulcal, and proximal surfaces similar to that of 6715 HSR. In addition, this bacterium caused significant decay on the lingual surfaces. Its colonial morphology and certain biochemical activities which may be related to caries production were distinct from those of 6715 HSR. This mutant adsorbed to saliva-treated hydroxyapatite beads in greater amounts and aggregated in the presence of either sucrose or dextran in excess of that seen with the parent strain. The abilities of C307 to grow and to produce acid from sucrose and to adhere to glass surfaces were similar to that of 6715 HSR. Although revertants of C307 exhibited biological activities and a content of serotype g antigen similar to that of 6715 HSR, the virulence pattern was still unlike the parent strain. These results suggest that the serotype g antigen is not required for the adherence of cells to smooth surface or for caries formation and that the loss of this antigen may alter the surface of cells causing enhanced ability of the cells to aggregate and to adsorb to saliva-treated hydroxyapatite beads.
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    Author List

  • Otake S; Hirasawa M; Brown TA; Kawabata Y; Kiyono H; Michalek SM; Mcghee JR; Shiota T
  • Start Page

  • 151
  • End Page

  • 159
  • Volume

  • 31
  • Issue

  • 1