Congratulations to Yvonne Prince (pictured on the RHS) who received the Labotec award for the Best Microbiology Presentation. This award was presented by Dr Wendy Solomon, President of SMLTSA (pictured on the LHS).

The award ceremony took place at the Gala dinner of the 26th National Medical Technology Congress, hosted by the Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists of South Africa, Egoli branch, on 21 October 2023 at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre.

The Winning Abstract
An abstract of Yvonne’s winning work; “The Link Between the Oral Microbiota and Metabolic Syndrome”, can be found below.

The link between the Oral microbiota and Metabolic Syndrome.
Yvonne Prince1, Glenda M. Davison1, Saarah F.G. Davids1, Rajiv T. Erasmus2,
Andre P. Kengne3,4, Shanel Raghubeer1, Tandi E. Matsha1,5
1SAMRC/CPUT/Cardiometabolic Health Research Unit, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Bellville, South Africa
2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch
University, Cape Town, South Africa
3Non-communicable Diseases Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
4Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
5Makgatho Health Sciences University, Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa

Abstract Introduction:

According to the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) the oral microbiome is the second largest after the gut microbiome housing over 700 bacterial species. These microorganisms play a vital role in both systemic inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), which is characterised by low-grade inflammation. Previous investigations were confined to analysis of gut microbiota using stool specimens from subjects with MetS, however the etiological role of the oral microbiota in the development of MetS is still unknown and requires further investigation.
Objective: Analysis of the oral microbiota of subgingival plaque samples from a South African cohort with and without MetS.
Methods: This was a case-controlled study conducted on a South African population in the Western Cape, Cape Town. A total of 128 subjects were recruited from an ongoing Vascular and Metabolic Health (VMH) study at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Metagenomic 16S rRNA sequencing was performed using the Ion Torrent S5 Gene Studio using previously collected subgingival plaque samples.
Results: 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 enriched abundance of genera in Actinomyces, Corynebacterium, and Fusobacterium in the MetS group in comparison to previous studies that found Granulicatella species predominated in patients with MetS. To further assess the impact of the metabolic parameters (FBG, Waist C, HDL, TGs, and BP) on the oral microbiome, we calculated the odds ratio (ORs) for significant oral bacteria identified between the MetS group. We found that different species were associated with at least four MetS risk factors.


In this study we found that the altered oral microbiota in MetS patients may promote inflammation providing a gateway to other systemic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.