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New Microbes and New Infections
Volume 40, 2021, 100844

Microbial biodiversity of natural toothbrushes in Mali

E.Sogodogo1,2, O. Doumbo3, B. Kouriba3,4, G. Aboudharam1,5

Aix Marseille Université. IRD, MEPHI, IHU-Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France.


Different oral hygiene practices are used to overcome endemic diseases such as dental caries and oral infections. In Mali (Africa), natural plant-based toothbrushes are used for eliminating bacterial biofilm. The repertoire of microorganisms associated with natural toothbrushes is unknown. The aim of our study is to study microbial flora in particular the methanogenic archaea associated with natural toothbrushes recently recognized as responsible for periodontitis and peri-implantitis. We investigated the methanogens and bacteria associated with 15 different natural plant toothbrushes collected in Bamako local market (Mali). Microbiological investigations consisted in culturing the bacteria on agar plates and searching archaea using molecular techniques. No archaea were demonstrated by molecular biology but 50 bacterial species, including 33 aero-anaerobic and 17 aerobic species, were isolated from natural toothbrushes. We isolated Pseudomonas sp., Staphylococcus sp. and Klebsiella pneumoniae, which are acknowledged as opportunistic human pathogens. This study has highlighted the likely impact of the use of natural toothbrushes in the spread of potentially pathogenic bacteria in the human oral cavity.

Key words: Bacteria, Mali, methanogen, miswak, natural toothbrushes, oral cavity.

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