The abundance of lysozyme, lactoferrin and cystatin S in the enamel pellicle of children - Potential biomarkers for caries?

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OBJECTIVE: In this study, the abundance of the protective salivary proteins lysozyme, lactoferrin, and cystatin S was quantified in the in situ formed pellicle of caries-free and caries-active children to determine whether they may be possible biomarkers for caries.

DESIGN: Pellicle formation was performed in situ for 10 min on ceramic specimens from the oral cavity of children (5-8 years) with caries (n = 17) and without evidence of caries (n = 17). Additionally, unstimulated saliva was collected. Levels of lysozyme, lactoferrin, and cystatin S were measured in desorbed pellicle eluates and saliva using ELISA.

RESULTS: No statistically significant differences were found in the occurrence of cystatin S and lysozyme in saliva and pellicle between caries-active and caries-free children. However, significantly higher amounts of lactoferrin were detected in the pellicle of caries-active children.

CONCLUSION: The protective salivary protein lactoferrin may be a biomarker for caries susceptibility in children.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105598
JournalArchives of oral biology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85143971636



  • Humans, Child, Dental Pellicle/metabolism, Lactoferrin/metabolism, Muramidase/metabolism, Salivary Proteins and Peptides/metabolism, Saliva/metabolism, Dental Caries/metabolism