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Lack of Oral Microbe May Put HIV-Infected Youth At Higher Risk of Caries

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When it comes to treating patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), oral health professionals play an integral role on the health care team — from recognizing oral manifestations of the virus to testing for medical conditions to providing referrals to medical care. A new study focused on this population’s oral bacteria may provide oral health professionals with additional insight into the management of children with HIV.  A collaborative study between The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the National Institutes of Health–funded Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study, reports children born with HIV may experience an increased caries risk, as youth with HIV had lower numbers of Corynebacterium.

The study, “Oral Microbiota in Youth with Perinatally Acquired HIV Infection,” published in the journal Microbiome followed a group of youth born with HIV, and a group of youth born to HIV-infected mothers who were not infected. Investigators determined bacterial composition was similar in both groups, implying that pediatric HIV infections and its treatment are not causing large-scale imbalances in the bacteria found in dental plaque. However, HIV-infected youth had fewer Corynebacterium in their dental plaque, which may explain why this population has more caries.

The findings may guide development of new therapies to prevent dental decay in HIV-infected youth.

Read more about managing dental patients with HIV here: https://decisionsindentistry.com/article/managing-dental-patients-with-hiv/

To learn more about dental screening for HIV in the dental practice, click here: https://decisionsindentistry.com/article/dental-screening-for-human-immunodeficiency-virus/



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