How long have caries already existed in humans?

Caries bacteria have been colonizing humans ever since he conquered the continents from Africa more than 100, 000 years ago. American researchers decoded the pedigree of the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans. All caries known today have a common ancestor.

100, 000 years together: tooth decay and people

60 bacterial strains studied Page Caufield of New York University. They came from saliva samples from China, Japan, Africa, the USA, Sweden, Australia, Brazil and Guyana. By analyzing the genetic fingerprints, the scientists were able to accurately understand the history of the bacteria.

Where does the pathogen come from?

The origin of the pathogen lies in Africa, much like the cradle of modern man. The scientists concluded that the majority of the microbes migrated to Asia with the humans. A smaller group separated and moved to Europe.

In the future, the scientists want to complete the pedigree with the American and Australian branches. The development of the caries pathogens confirms the theory that man moved from Africa to Asia and later settled in the world.

How is the transfer done?

"Streptococcus mutans" is found in almost all people in the mouth. It is usually transmitted to the baby via the saliva of the mother and settles on the teeth.

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