Comparability of microbiota of swabbed and spit saliva

Amke Marije Kaan*, Bernd W. Brandt, Mark J. Buijs, Wim Crielaard, Bart J.F. Keijser, Egija Zaura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In general, saliva is used for microbiota analysis in longitudinal studies, and several collection methods are being used. Using a robust sample collection procedure is important, as it may influence salivary composition. This study explored the comparability of the microbiota of swabbed and spit saliva. Twenty-two females participated in this cross-sectional study. The bacterial composition of the three saliva samples (swab collected by the participant (SW-P), swab collected by the researcher (SW-R), and spit (SP) was assessed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The bacterial composition of the swabbed and the spit saliva was significantly different irrespective of the operator, and Shannon diversity was significantly higher in spit saliva than in SW-P and SW-R. The salivary microbiota of spit and swabbed adult saliva differs significantly. Research on microbial composition therefore requires collection of similar saliva sample types in all study participants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12858
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Oral Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all study participants who participated in this study for their contribution. We thank GGD Pontanusstraat in Amsterdam and her employees for helping us with the recruitment of study participants. We thank Elly van Deutekom‐Mulder and Wendy de Wit for sample preparation. A.M. Kaan was supported by the ACTA Research Institute.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. European Journal of Oral Sciences published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Scandinavian Division of the International Association for Dental Research.


  • 16S rDNA
  • microbiology
  • oral


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