This study aimed to investigate that these bacteria counts in the oral cavity were modulated by the recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) status according to age and ethnicity with a systematic review and meta-analysis.
The relevant case-control studies were searched in the literature database in English, Korean, and Chinese until June 2020 using keywords, and the literature was screened and collated for Review Manager analysis. Sensitivity analysis and quality check of the included literature were conducted.
From the selection process, oral bacteria counts were measured by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 8 studies and next-generation sequencing in 4 studies. Healthy control, ulcerative phases of RAS (UC-RAS), non-ulcerative phases of RAS (Non-UC-RAS) groups included 442, 473, and 386 participants in a total of 12 studies. For PCR detection, mean differences (95 % confidence intervals) of Veillonella and Streptococcus counts between the healthy-control and RAS groups were -1.91 (-2.41 ∼ -1.41) and -1.34 (-1.85 ∼ -0.83)(P < 0.0001). The bacteria count results by "Next-generation" sequencing (NGS) and PCR methods were similar. Significantly lower Veillonella and Streptococcus counts were observed in the UC-RAS group than in the non-UC-RAS group (P < 0.0001). Veillonella and Streptococcus count differences between RAS and controls aged ≥30 years were greater than those aged <30 years. At the species level, the prevalence of RAS had a negative relation with Veillonella dispar count.
Counts of Veillonella and Streptococcus are strongly correlated with the recovery and progression of RAS, especially in middle-aged patients. Adjustment of oral microbiota should be considered in the treatment of RAS.

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