Infections caused by anaerobic bacteria are common, and may be serious and life-threatening. Anaerobes predominant in the bacterial flora of normal human skin and mucous membranes, and are a common cause of bacterial infections of endogenous origin. Infections due to anaerobes can evolve all body systems and sites. The predominate ones include: abdominal, pelvic, respiratory, and skin and soft tissues infections. Because of their fastidious nature, they are difficult to isolate and are often overlooked. Failure to direct therapy against these organisms often leads to clinical failures. Their isolation requires appropriate methods of collection, transportation and cultivation of specimens. Treatment of anaerobic bacterial infection is complicated by the slow growth of these organisms, which makes diagnosis in the laboratory only possible after several days, by their often polymicrobial nature and by the growing resistance of anaerobic bacteria to antimicrobial agents.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Individuals with oral cancer are colonized with greater number of bacteria and yeast

Changes in the microbial flora on the oral mucosa after cancerous alteration may lead to both local and systemic infections. Researchers from India assessed the microbial flora associated with the surfaces of oral squamous cell carcinoma and compared the oral microbial contents with healthy mucosa. They also assessed the microbial flora from the saliva culture in subjects with oral squamous cell carcinoma and healthy controls.

The study included 30 subjects with oral squamous cell carcinoma and 30 healthy matched controls. The investigators found that oral squamous cell carcinoma sites harbor significantly more bacteria and yeasts compared to the control group. The microbial flora predominantly isolated from the carcinoma site were Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Moraxella, Klebsiella, Citrobacter, Proteus, and Pseudomonas spp., Enterococcus feacalis, and Candida albicans. The median number of colony forming units (CFU)/mL at carcinoma sites (3.85 x 105 CFU/mL) was significantly higher than that of the healthy mucosa (0.571 x 105 CFU/mL) Similarly, in saliva of carcinoma subjects, the median number of CFU/mL (2.408 x 105 CFU/mL) was significantly higher than that of saliva in control subjects (0.78 x 105 CFU/mL)  

The study clearly indicates that the subjects with oral squamous cell carcinoma harbor significantly more microbial flora. The study's implications are that emphasis has to be made to prevent changes in the microbial flora of the oral cavity. This can be achieved by reducing sugar intake, using probiotics when indicated, avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics, and maintaining good dental and oral hygiene

Microscopic view of oral bacteria and yeast