The early childhood caries (ECC) is a microbial infection which can severely affect the dentition of young children. The etiology of the ECC involves selective bacterial infection, diet and host factors. In the oral cavity, components of the innate immune system, such as cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs), are responsible for maintaining the ecological balance and absence of opportunistic infections. The presence of CAPs in saliva can be a biological factor that contributes to the resistance to caries due to their broad antimicrobial and immuneregulatory activity. Studies have shown that children with ECC have lower levels of some CAPs when compared to caries-free children. The aims of this study are evaluated: 1) in vitro antimicrobial action of isolated/combined CAPs fragments on potentially cariogenic dental microorganisms and 2) toxicity these fragments on epithelial cell. In summary, standard bacterial strains and clinical isolates of S. mutans will be used to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of synthetic CAPs fragments isolated or combined by tests of MIC/MBC and biofilm. The fragments that achieve the best potential antimicrobial will be evaluated for their toxicity on epithelial cells. The data will be analyzed statistically. This study intends to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of CAPs fragments in the prevention of dental caries.
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