The Relationship between the Oral Microbiota and Metabolic Syndrome

Yvonne Prince, Glenda M. Davison*, Saarah F.G. Davids, Rajiv T. Erasmus, Andre P. Kengne, Lisa M. Graham, Shanel Raghubeer*, Tandi E. Matsha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The oral microbiota plays a crucial role in both systemic inflammation and metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is characterised by low-grade inflammation. Studies have analysed the gut microbiota using stool specimens from subjects with MetS; however, the etiological role of the oral microbiota in the development of MetS is still uncertain. We investigated the oral microbiota of 128 subgingival plaque samples from a South African cohort with and without MetS. After a comprehensive analysis of the oral microbiota, we observed a significant increase in Gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic microbiota in those with MetS. We observed an abundance of Actinomyces, Corynebacterium, and Fusobacterium genera in the MetS group, which differed significantly from previous studies, which found Granulicatella to be enriched in MetS. To further assess the impact of the metabolic parameters (FBG, Waist C, HDL, TGs, and BP) on the oral microbiota, we calculated the odds ratio (ORs) for significant oral microbiota identified between the MetS groups. We found that different species were associated with at least four MetS risk factors. This study has shown that the oral microbiota is disrupted in MetS and may promote inflammation providing a gateway to other systemic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • South Africa
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome
  • oral microbiota
  • rDNA
  • subgingival plaque


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