Photo of Jens Kreth, Ph.D.

Jens Kreth Ph.D.

  • (503) 418-2672

    Portland Campus

    • Associate Professor of Restorative Dentistry School of Dentistry

Dr. Kreth studies the complex interactions between members of the oral biofilm. Under healthy conditions the commensal oral flora maintains a beneficial homeostatic state protecting the host from diseases like caries. Host behavior and environmental conditions can promote a shift in the microbial composition of the oral biofilm. More pathogenic bacteria are able to increase in numbers and an overall decline in species diversity can be observed. On the molecular level, bacteria maintain the ecological balance by diverse interactions, both antagonistic and synergistic. The Kreth lab aims to identify and characterize the molecular details of these interactions to better understand disease development.


  • B.S., University of Osnabrueck Germany 1999
  • Ph.D., University of Osnabrueck Germany 2002

Memberships and associations

  • International Association for Dental Research (IADR)
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


  • "Bacterial and host interactions of oral streptococci" DNA and Cell Biology August 1 2009
  • "Cell density- and ComE-dependent expression of a group of mutacin and mutacin-like genes in Streptococcus mutans" FEMS Microbiology Letters December 2006
  • "Competition and coexistence between Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguinis in the dental biofilm" Journal of Bacteriology November 2005
  • "The Streptococcus mutans irvA Gene Encodes a trans-Acting Riboregulatory mRNA" Molecular Cell January 8 2015
  • "Role of sucrose in the fitness of Streptococcus mutans" Molecular Oral Microbiology June 2008
  • "RNA regulators of host immunity and pathogen adaptive responses in the oral cavity" Microbes and Infection July 1 2015
  • "The response regulator ComE in Streptococcus mutans functions both as a transcription activator of mutacin production and repressor of CSP biosynthesis" Microbiology June 2007
  • "Co-ordinated bacteriocin production and competence development" Molecular Microbiology July 2005
  • "Transcriptional analysis of mutacin I (mutA) gene expression in planktonic and biofilm cells of Streptococcus mutans using fluorescent protein and glucuronidase reporters" Molecular Oral Microbiology August 2004
  • "Non-disruptive, real-time analyses of the metabolic status and viability of Streptococcus mutans cells in response to antimicrobial treatments" Journal of Microbiological Methods May 2005
  • "Hydrogen peroxide-dependent DNA release and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in Streptococcus gordonii" Journal of Bacteriology December 2011
  • "LuxS controls bacteriocin production in Streptococcus mutans through a novel regulatory component" Molecular Microbiology August 2005
  • "Let there be bioluminescence" Environmental Microbiology January 1 2016
  • "Effect of salivary agglutination on oral streptococcal clearance by human polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes" Molecular Oral Microbiology  2016
  • "Real-time assessment of Streptococcus mutans biofilm metabolism on resin composite" Dental Materials October 1 2016
  • "The road less traveled - defining molecular commensalism with Streptococcus sanguinis" Molecular Oral Microbiology  2016
  • "Interference of a speB 5′ untranslated region partial deletion with mRNA degradation in Streptococcus pyogenes" Molecular Oral Microbiology  2017
  • "Natural competence is common among clinical isolates of Veillonella parvula and is useful for genetic manipulation of this key member of the oral microbiome" Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology April 20 2017
  • "Recombineering in Streptococcus mutans using direct repeat-mediated cloning-independent markerless mutagenesis (DR-CIMM)" Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology May 23 2017
  • "Murein hydrolase LytF of Streptococcus sanguinis and the ecological consequences of competence development" Applied and Environmental Microbiology December 1 2017
  • "Identification of new degrons in Streptococcus mutans reveals a novel strategy for engineering targeted, controllable proteolysis" Frontiers in Microbiology December 19 2017
  • "Plasticity of the pyruvate node modulates hydrogen peroxide production and acid tolerance in multiple oral streptococci" Applied and Environmental Microbiology January 1 2018
  • "Characterization of DNA binding sites of the ComE response regulator from Streptococcus mutans" Journal of Bacteriology July 1 2011
  • "Evaluation of bacteria-induced enamel demineralization using optical profilometry" Dental Materials December 1 2009
  • "Multiple roles of rnase y in streptococcus pyogenes mrna processing and degradation" Journal of Bacteriology June 1 2013
  • "Oxygen dependent pyruvate oxidase expression and production in Streptococcus sanguinis" International journal of oral science April 1 2011
  • "Systematic approach to optimizing specifically targeted antimicrobial peptides against Streptococcus mutans" Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy May 1 2010
  • "Counteractive balancing of transcriptome expression involving CodY and CovRS in Streptococcus pyogenes" Journal of Bacteriology August 1 2011
  • "Consequences of a sortase A mutation in Streptococcus gordonii" Microbiology December 1 2007
  • "Functional characterization of cell-wall-associated protein WapA in Streptococcus mutans" Microbiology August 1 2006

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