Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Maternal Transmission of Mutans Streptococci to Infants: Effect of Xylitol

  • Author(s): Krupansky, Cassandra Jung-Yun
  • Advisor(s): Featherstone, John DB
  • Zhan, Ling
  • et al.


Purpose: To investigate the efficacy of xylitol-containing wipes on reducing maternal and non-maternal transmission of mutans streptococci (MS) in infants aged 6-35 months.

Methods: Forty-four mother-infant pairs participated in a double-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial, and were assigned to xylitol-wipe or placebo-wipe groups. Mothers were instructed to use 2 wipes 3 times daily for their infants. Saliva samples were collected from mothers and infants at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year for MS enumeration and colonies of 21 mother-infant pairs were genotyped by arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction.

Results: All mothers assessed had MS infection. MS colonization was found in 12 infants, with maternal transmission only in 4 infants. There was no significant difference in MS colonization rates of infants in the xylitol (56%) and placebo wipe groups (76%) at 1 year, but more diverse and less retained MS genotypes were noted in xylitol wipe group. Maternal MS strains only accounted for 9% of total genotypes in these infants. Most non-maternal MS genotypes were transient (92%), whereas most maternal transmitted MS genotypes were retained (80%).

Conclusions: Non-maternal MS transmission is an important source for MS colonization in infants. Daily xylitol wipe use may affect the sustainability of MS in infant.

Main Content
Current View