Oral cavity is an ecologically complex environment and hosts a diverse microbial community. Most of these organisms are commensals, however, on occasion, some have the potential to become pathogenic causing damage to the human host. Complex interactions between pathogenic bacteria, the microbiota, and the host can modify pathogen physiology and behavior. Most bacteria in the environment do not exist in free-living state but are found as complex matrix enclosed aggregates known as biofilms. There has been research interest in microbial biofilms because of their importance in industrial and biomedical settings. Bacteria respond to environmental cues to fine-tune the transition from planktonic growth to biofilm by directing gene expression changes favorable for sessile community establishment. Meta-approaches have been used to identify complex microbial associations within human oral cavity leading to important insights. Comparative gene expression analysis using deep sequencing of RNA and metagenomics studies done under varying conditions have been successfully used in understanding and identifying possible triggers of pathogenicity and biofilm formation in oral commensals.
Part of the book: Applications of RNA-Seq in Biology and Medicine