Game of Microbes: Natural Products as Weapons for Microbial Regulation in the Oral Cavity

Seminar Details
Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 9:00am to 10:00am


Maribel E. Okiye


Matthew Ostrowski
Advisors: David H. Sherman (University of Michigan), Ashootosh Tripathi (University of Michigan)


Abstract: Co-existence and intraspecies interactions in human microbiomes have been well studied over the past decade. In the human oral microbiome alone, you can find over 700 different microbial species at a given time. These microbial species can shape the microenvironment throughout the human body, by their microbial interactions mediated by secretion of chemical mediators (i.e. secondary metabolites). These interactions are paramount to maintaining oral health and systematic health. Several epidemiological studies have linked dysbiosis of oral microbes with cardiovascular disease, poor glycemic control in diabetics, low b rheumatoid arthritis and a number of other conditions. Through recent advances in technology, including next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatic tools, have helped to unravel the complexities of the oral microbiome. It is still not understood how microbial interactions are mediated within the oral cavity and how they affect oral and systemic health. Using a prospective, split mouth, experimental gingivitis model on 20 healthy non-smoking participants, we were able to observe metabolite profile changes in oral cavity during gingivitis progression and identify several small molecules that have regulatory properties in pathogenic oral  microbial growth. With this research, we may be able to develop novel enhancers and pharmaceuticals for oral health and characterize molecules that can serve as biomarkers for oral and systemic diseases.