Salivary peptide human neutrophil defensin1–3 and its relationship with early childhood caries

Trophimus Gnanabagyan Jayakaran, C. Vishnu Rekha, Sankar Annamalai, Parisa Norouzi Baghkomeh


Background: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship of the level of salivary peptides human
neutrophil defensin (HNP) 1–3 in children with and without early childhood caries (ECC).
Materials and Methods: This in vitro study was conducted among 86 children of age 3–6 years who
were divided into two groups: Group 1 – children with ECC (n = 43) and Group 2 – children without
ECC (n = 43). Saliva samples were collected, and salivary peptide HNP1–3 levels were analyzed using
enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay. The data collected were subjected to appropriate statistical
analysis. Independent sample t‑test was used to compare the mean salivary peptide levels of HNP1–3
in children with and without ECC. One‑way ANOVA was used for intragroup comparison of the
mean peptide levels between the ages. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The mean age of the children in Group 1 and Group 2 was 5.12 ± 0.851 and
4.88 ± 0.879 years, respectively. A statistically significant decrease was seen in salivary peptide
HNP1–3 levels in children with ECC (1.44 ng/ml) when compared to children without ECC
(6.04 ng/ml) with P < 0.001. There were no statistically significant differences in the gender‑ and
age‑based comparisons.
Conclusion: A decrease in salivary peptide HNP1–3 levels might be a biological factor for
predisposition to ECC and hence can be used as a predictive and a preventive tool in caries
Key Words: Defensin, early childhood caries, peptide, saliva

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