Ye Y, Carlsson G, Agholme MB, Wilson JA, Roos A, Henriques-Normark B, Engstrand L, Modéer T, Pütsep K
Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 19 (12) E559-E567 [2013-12-00; online 2013-07-05]
The role of oral bacteria in the development of chemotherapy-related oral mucositis has not been fully elucidated. This study aimed to investigate oral bacterial community diversity and dynamics in paediatric patients with malignancies in relation to the occurrence of oral mucositis. Patients with malignancies (n = 37) and reference individuals without known systemic disorders (n = 38) were recruited. For patients, oral bacterial samples were taken from mucosal surfaces both at the time of malignancy diagnosis and during chemotherapy. If oral mucositis occurred, samples were taken from the surface of the mucositis lesions. Oral mucosal bacterial samples were also taken from reference individuals. All samples were assessed using a 16S ribosomal RNA gene 454 pyrosequencing method. A lower microbial diversity (p < 0.01) and a higher intersubject variability (p < 0.001) were found in patients as compared with reference individuals. At the time of malignancy diagnosis (i.e. before chemotherapy) patients that later developed mucositis showed a higher microbial diversity (p < 0.05) and a higher intersubject variability (p < 0.001) compared with those without mucositis. The change of bacterial composition during chemotherapy was more pronounced in patients who later developed mucositis than those without mucositis (p < 0.01). In conclusion, we found a higher microbial diversity at the time of malignancy diagnosis in patients who later develop oral mucositis and that these patients had a more significant modification of the bacterial community by chemotherapy before the occurrence of mucositis. These findings may possibly be of clinical importance in developing better strategies for personalized preventive management.