Salivary levels of mutans streptococci and Lactobacilli among Palestinian school children in East Jerusalem

Doron Steinberg*, Lana Eskander, Avraham Zini, Harold Sgan-Cohen, Musa Bajali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate the distribution of oral cariogenic bacteria among 12-year-old Palestinian children attending schools in East Jerusalem. Materials and methods: Salivary levels of mutans streptococci (MS) and Lactobacilli (LB) were examined by semi-quantitative commercial kits and then correlated to social-demographic parameters. Results: Overall, 52.1 % of the examined children presented the highest possible ranking score categories for MS bacteria, with only 5.4 % in the lowest category. Only 12.6 % of the school children presented the highest LB score, while 25 % had the lowest ranking score. Salivary MS levels in children attending private schools were lower than those of children in government schools and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools. Conversely, levels of LB were lowest in children attending UNRWA schools compared to government and private schools. Girls had significantly higher amounts of MS and LB than boys (p = 0.001). Lower MS levels were significantly related to the following socioeconomic variables: higher father's education level (p = 0.037), higher mother's education level (p = 0.063), mother's employment status (p = 0.012), and lower home density (p = 0.001). For LB, the only significant socioeconomic variable was higher father's employment level, which was related to lower LB level (p = 0.025). Conclusions: Levels of MS and LB were found to be strongly related with socioeconomic status among Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. The relatively high prevalence of cariogenic bacteria suggests that oral care prevention and treatment demands special attention from the health care institutions and authorities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)979-983
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported in part by the D. Walter Cohen Middle East Center of Dental Education and the Rothschild Yad Hanadiv Foundation. This work is part of the DMD thesis of L.E.


  • Cariogenic bacteria
  • Palestinian
  • School children
  • Socioeconomic status


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