Levorotatory carbohydrates and xylitol subdue Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans adhesion and biofilm formation

J Basic Microbiol. 2016 May;56(5):480-92. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201500329. Epub 2015 Oct 12.


Dietary carbohydrates and polyols affect the microbial colonization of oral surfaces by modulating adhesion and biofilm formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a select group of l-carbohydrates and polyols on either Streptococcus mutans or Candida albicans adhesion and biofilm formation in vitro. S. mutans or C. albicans suspensions were inoculated on polystyrene substrata in the presence of Tryptic soy broth containing 5% of the following compounds: d-glucose, d-mannose, l-glucose, l-mannose, d- and l-glucose (raceme), d- and l-mannose (raceme), l-glucose and l-mannose, sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. Microbial adhesion (2 h) and biofilm formation (24 h) were evaluated using MTT-test and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Xylitol and l-carbohydrates induced the lowest adhesion and biofilm formation in both the tested species, while sorbitol and mannitol did not promote C. albicans biofilm formation. Higher adhesion and biofilm formation was noted in both organisms in the presence of d-carbohydrates relative to their l-carbohydrate counterparts. These results elucidate, hitherto undescribed, interactions of the individually tested strains with l- and d-carbohydrates, and how they impact fungal and bacterial colonization. In translational terms, our data raise the possibility of using l-form of carbohydrates and xylitol for dietary control of oral plaque biofilms.

Keywords: Biofilm; Candida albicans; Levorotatory carbohydrate; Streptococcus mutans; Xylitol.

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / pathogenicity
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Mannose / pharmacology*
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Polystyrenes
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects*
  • Streptococcus mutans / pathogenicity
  • Surface Properties
  • Xylitol / pharmacology*


  • Polymers
  • Polystyrenes
  • polyol
  • Glucose
  • Mannose
  • Xylitol