The in vitro attachment of Streptococcus mutans, strain KPSK 2, to hydroxyapatite under various conditions was studied in a sedimentation system. The effect of bacterial concentration, saliva concentration and amounts of apatite was investigated. The number of colony-forming units of bacteria per milligram of apatite decreased with increasing concentrations of saliva. Preincubation of saliva and bacteria prior to the addition of apatite constantly gave the lowest uptake of bacteria. When the saliva was treated with bacteria to remove the receptor-specific substances no effect of concentration of the supernatant on the bacterial uptake was found. A hypothesis for the mechanism of the action of specific salivary substances on bacterial uptake on to apatite is suggested.

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