Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Second Committee Member

Katherine Howard

Third Committee Member

Brian Chrzan

Fourth Committee Member

Maxim Gakh

Number of Pages



Akkermansia muciniphila (AM) is one of many highly abundant intestinal microbes that influences homeostasis and metabolic disorders and may also play a role in oral disorders. However, there is little evidence regarding the oral prevalence of this organism. Based upon this lack of evidence, the primary goal of this project is to survey an existing saliva repository to determine the overall prevalence of this organism and any associations with demographic or patient characteristics (age, sex, body mass index, race/ethnicity, orthodontic therapy). Using an approved protocol, a total n = 141 pediatric samples from an existing saliva repository were screened using qPCR revealing 29.8% harbored AM with nearly equal distribution among males and females, p = 0.8347. Significantly higher percentages of pediatric, non-orthodontic patients were positive for AM (42.3%) compared with age-matched orthodontic patients (14.3%)-which were equally distributed among non-orthodontic males (42.1%) and non-orthodontic females (42.5%). In addition, analysis of the adult samples revealed that nearly equal percentages of males (18.2%) and females (16.7%) harbored detectable levels of salivary AM, p = 0.2035. However, a higher proportion of non-orthodontic adult samples harbored AM (21.3%) compared to orthodontic samples (12.8%, p = 0.0001), which was equally distributed among males and females. These results suggest that both age and the presence of orthodontic brackets may influence microbial composition and, more specifically, are associated with reduction in AM among both pediatric and adult populations from their baseline levels.


Akkermansia muciniphila; oral prevalence; orthodontic; saliva screening


Dentistry | Microbiology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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