Open Access Online Scientific Journal

Research Article

J Sci Discov (2017); 1(2):jsd17015; DOI:10.24262/jsd.1.2.17015; 
Received August 12nd, 2017, Revised September 24th, 2017, Accepted October 20th, 2017, Published October 29th,2017.

Microbial ecology of Scardovia wiggsiae-positive and negative samples

Amy Tam1, Karl Kingsley2, *


1Amy Tam, DDS is an Orthodontic Resident at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – School of Dental Medicine, Department of Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthodpedics, 1700 W Charleston Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89106, USA, (702) 774-2690;

2Karl Kingsley, PhD, MPH is Director of Student Research and Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – School of Dental Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, 1001 Shadow Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89106, USA, (702) 774-2623;;


* Correspondence: Karl Kingsley, PhD, MPH, Department of Biomedical Sciences University of Nevada, Las Vegas – School of Dental Medicine, 1001 Shadow Lane,
Tel: (702) 774-2630, Fax: (702) 774-2721.E-mail:


Recent studies have reported a novel cariogenic pathogen Scardovia wiggsiae among patients with poor oral health. The prevalence of this organism in the context of additional caries risk factors, such as Orthodontic treatment has yet to be fully explored.  In addition, few studies have evaluated the presence of other pathogenic organisms with respect to Scardovia-positive patients. Recent studies at this institution have revealed S. wiggsiae among orthodontic and non-orthodontic patients have generated sufficient information to briefly summarize and characterize the microbial ecology of Scardovia wiggsiae-positive and negative saliva samples within this patient population. In brief, the cariogenic pathogens S. wiggsiae and S. mutans can be found separately on in combination in approximately half of all patient samples. However, the presence of other organisms, most notably Selenomonas noxia and Tannerella forsythia were only found in the Scardovia-negative samples – which may suggest these organisms or other factors that promote their growth or aggregation may selectively inhibit S. wiggsiae.

Keywords: Scardovia wiggsiae, Pediatric, Adult Saliva Screening, Microbial Ecology


The studies from this institution were initiated to reveal whether samples from pediatric (and some adult) patients harbored DNA specific for Scardovia wiggsiae (S. wiggsiae) [1]. Although the first descriptions of this organism were from children with severe early childhood caries, the main finding from this initial pilot study was the discovery of S. wiggsiae in approximately one-quarter of both the pediatric and adult patient saliva samples [2,3]. A more recent study from this group confirmed these findings among a much larger sample of both pediatric and adult patients, further support for the growing evidence that Scardovia may be part of the oral microbial flora in patients with severe early childhood caries, as well as in pediatric and adult patients with other caries risk factors and profiles [4-6].

For example, some evidence has suggested S. wiggsiae may be a smaller part of the normal oral flora in patients without caries [7,8]. However, other studies have now demonstrated that orthodontic therapy may increase the risk of both caries and of high levels of Scardovia in some patients [9]. This observation has also been made in studies from this group, which has demonstrated the presence of this organism in nearly twice the percentage of pediatric orthodontic patients compared with either adult orthodontic patients or pediatric patients without orthodontic appliances [10]. In fact, two additional studies of orthodontic patients have recently been completed, which provide more support for these observations [11,12].

These studies provide the rationale for a more thorough investigation and screening of patient samples, which have been demonstrated to harbor S. wiggsiae [13,14]. Based upon these studies, sufficient data now exist to support the overall objective of this study, which was to provide a more detailed analysis and description of the microbial ecology found among Scardovia-positive and –negative patients samples.


Using the previous microbial screening studies from this institution, results for the prevalence of several oral microbial species were compiled for analysis (Figure 1).  These data clearly demonstrate that bridge species, such as Fusobacterium nucleatum (FN) are present in the overwhelming majority of samples – supporting other similar observations [15-17]. These data also demonstrate that both the cariogenic pathogens S. wiggsiae (SW) and Streptococcus mutans (SM) are found in nearly half of all patient samples [1,4,9,11-14]. However, other oral pathogens, such as T. forsythia (TF) and Selenemonas noxia (SN) were only found in approximately one-quarter of patient samples [13,18].

Figure 1. Combined analysis of institutional screening studies of oral microbial pathogens. 
An analysis of all patient saliva screening studies revealed most samples harbored DNA from the periodontal pathogen F. nucleatum (FN), 
while smaller subsets were found to contain the cariogenic pathogens S. wiggsiae (SW) and S. mutans (SM). 
Additional oral microbes T. forsythia (TF) and S. noxia (SN) were also present in approximately one-quarter of all samples analyzed.

While these data provide some limited information regarding prevalence for several important oral species, more detailed analysis of data specific to each sample screened for multiple studies can provide a more comprehensive profile of the microbial flora (Figure 2). More specifically, a subset of samples that were screened in multiple studies provides a detailed analysis of the major pathogenic organisms, such as S. wiggsiae and S. mutans, which were present in nearly half of the same samples – either alone or in combination with F. nucleatum.  These data clearly demonstrate that although S. wiggsiae and S. mutans are commonly found with F. nucleatum, they may also both be found concomitantly.

Figure 2. Comprehensive microbial oral patient sample profile. 
Most samples harbored the microbial bridge species F. nucleatum (FN), 
which was often found in combination with other oral pathogens. 
The cariogenic pathogens S. wiggsiae (SW) and S. mutans (SM) were found in combination with FN in approximately one-fourth of samples analyzed, 
and were also found to be present concomitantly in another subset (26.3%). 
Other organisms, such as T. forsythia (TF), were found in smaller subsets, while S. noxia (SN) was only found among the SW-negative samples.


These data may suggest that S. noxia and S. wiggsiae may occupy distinct, non-overlapping niches, which may differ significantly from the interactions observed with F. nucleatum. The limited numbers of studies available regarding S. wiggsiae prevalence have suggested that S. wiggsiae and S. mutans may inhabit similar and overlapping niches within the oral microbiome. In fact, studies now suggest the potential for both competition and interactive inhibition between these organisms within the oral cavity.  The preliminary data from this pilot study suggest S. mutans and S. wiggsiae may, in fact, be present in some of the same patients and may not therefore be exclusively competitive – at least in this patient population.  However, due to the large differences observed among these samples, further research will be needed to more fully elucidate these interactions and to explore the potential ramifications for oral microbial ecology and the implications for predictive saliva screening.


We conclude that Partial gastric outlet obstruction of unclear etiology might be attributed to duodenal lymphangectasia. So we recommend considering this pathology as one of the causes of partial gastric outlet obstruction. Moreover, we encourage reporting similar case scenarios so we will come to solid base to confirm our consideration.

Conflict of interest



The authors would like to thank the Department of Advanced Education Program in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthodpedics as well as Dr. Mobley and the Office of Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – School of Dental Medicine for funding to support this project.


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