The effects of immunization with antigens of the Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferase (GTF) complex on oral challenge with two Streptococcus sanguis strains (H7PR3 and 34) in hamsters were studied. Antisera to S. mutans GTF complex were able to inhibit one-third (strain H7PR3) to one-half (strain 34) of the S. sanguis GTF activity which could be inhibited when these S. sanguis GTFs were incubated with antisera to S. sanguis GTF. Washed, intact cells of strains H7PR3 and 34 were able to remove a significant amount of enzyme inhibitory activity and immunoglobulin G antibody activity from antisera to S. mutans GTF. These results established the existence of an antigenic relationship between S. sanguis and S. mutans GTFs. The effect of injection of S. mutans strain 6715 GTF or phosphate-buffered saline, incorporated into complete Freund adjuvant, on oral challenge with S. sanguis was compared in 243 hamsters in nine experiments. Salivary and serum GTF inhibitory activity was present in all GTF-injected animals before challenge. After a 2- or 3-day challenge with S. sanguis H7PR3 (seven experiments) or 34 (two experiments), fewer bacteria were recovered from GTF-injected hamsters in every experiment. Significant differences were observed in six of the nine experiments. During the 7- to 21-day period after challenge, 33% of the phosphate-buffered saline-injected sham group (group I) still had S. sanguis recoverable from the molar surfaces, whereas only 19% of the S. mutans GTF-injected group (group II) remained infected with S. sanguis (P less than 0.01). These results suggest that immunization with GTF from S. mutans may influence the colonization potential of S. sanguis in the oral cavity.
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