Summary: strain 6715-13-201 was inoculated into the oral cavity of a gnotobiotic rat and then reisolated from different portions of the gastrointestinal tract. Fourteen isolates, selected on the basis of their colonial morphology, were then screened for their ability to adhere to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (SHA) , and their ability to produce extracellular polysaccharide from sucrose, and low pH in glucose broth. Certain isolates were also tested for their cariogenic potential as monoinfectants in gnotobiotic rats. All isolates differed in their abilities to adhere to SHA, with most showing an increased level of adhesion in the presence of sucrose, but this did not correlate with their ability to be aggregated by dextran. Most isolates were capable of producing glucosyltransferases (with only one exception) and dextranases (also one exception). There was more variability in the production of dextranase inhibitor. No isolate was capable of producing dextranase inhibitor in the absence of dextranase production. There were no correlations between the ability of isolates to adhere in vitro or produce/utilize polysaccharides and their ability to produce caries Due to the differences between strains in their abilities to adhere, produce polysaccharides, utilize polysaccharides or produce a low pH and the lack of correlation between any of these parameters and cariogenicity, the results suggest that the ability of strains to colonize and produce caries depends on a number of different characteristics, no one of which is essential.


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