Antimicrobial activity of Streptococcus salivarius K12 on bacteria involved in oral malodour

Arch Oral Biol. 2012 Aug;57(8):1041-7. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.02.011. Epub 2012 Mar 10.


Objective: To investigate the antimicrobial activity of the bacteriocin-producing strain Streptococcus salivarius K12 against several bacteria involved in halitosis.

Design: The inhibitory activity of S. salivarius K12 against Solobacterium moorei CCUG39336, four clinical S. moorei isolates, Atopobium parvulum ATCC33793 and Eubacterium sulci ATCC35585 was examined by a deferred antagonism test. Eubacterium saburreum ATCC33271 and Parvimonas micra ATCC33270, which have been tested in previous studies, served as positive controls, and the Gram-negative strain Bacteroides fragilis ZIB2800 served as a negative control. Additionally, the occurrence of resistance in S. moorei CCUG39336 to S. salivarius K12 was analysed by either direct plating or by passage of S. moorei CCUG39336 on chloroform-inactived S. salivarius K12-containing agar plates.

Results: S. salivarius K12 suppressed the growth of all Gram-positive bacteria tested, but the extent to which the bacteria were inhibited varied. E. sulci ATCC35585 was the most sensitive strain, while all five S. moorei isolates were inhibited to a lesser extent. Natural resistance seems to be very low in S. moorei CCUG39336, and there was only a slight decrease in sensitivity after exposure to S. salivarius K12 over 10 passages.

Conclusion: Our studies demonstrate that S. salivarius K12 has antimicrobial activity against bacteria involved in halitosis. This strain might be an interesting and valuable candidate for the development of an antimicrobial therapy for halitosis.

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / growth & development*
  • Actinobacteria / isolation & purification
  • Administration, Oral
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacology
  • Bacteriocins / pharmacology
  • Eubacterium / growth & development
  • Eubacterium / isolation & purification
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / growth & development
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Halitosis / microbiology*
  • Halitosis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Linear Models
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Streptococcus / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacteriocins
  • salivaricin A