Background: An alternative approach for managing Candida infections in the oral cavity by modulating the oral microbiota with probiotic bacteria has been proposed. Objective: The aim was to investigate the antifungal potential of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938 and ATCC PTA 5289) against six oral Candida species (C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. krusei, C. tropicalis, C. dubliniensis, and C. parapsilosis). Design: The lactobacilli were tested for their ability to co-aggregate with and inhibit the growth of the yeasts assessed by spectrophotometry and the agar overlay inhibition assay. Additionally, the pH was evaluated with microsensors, and the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by the lactobacilli was verified. Results: Both L. reuteri strains showed co-aggregation abilities with the yeasts. The lactobacilli almost completely inhibited the growth of C. albicans and C. parapsilosis, but did not affect C. krusei. Statistically significant differences in co-aggregation and growth inhibition capacities between the two L. reuteri strains were observed (p<0.001). The pH measurements suggested that C. krusei can resist the acids produced by the lactobacilli. Conclusions:L. reuteri exhibited antifungal properties against five of the six most common oral Candida species. Further, the results reconfirms that the probiotic capacity of L. reuteri is strain specific.
Keywords: Beneficial bacteria; antimycotic; candidiasis; co-aggregation; growth inhibition; yeast.