The aim of the study was to evaluate the anti-cariogenic effects of Lactobacillus salivarius by reducing pathogenic species and biofilm mass in a double-species biofilm model. Coexistence of S. mutans with C. albicans can cause dental caries progression or recurrence of the disease in the future. Fifty-nine children with diagnosed early childhood caries (ECC) were recruited onto the study. The condition of the children's dentition was defined according to the World Health Organization guidelines. The participants were divided into children with initial enamel demineralization and children showing dentin damage. The study was performed on the S. mutans and C. albicans clinical strains, isolated from dental plaque of patients with ECC. The effect of a probiotic containing Lactobacillus salivarius on the ability of S. mutans and C. albicans to produce a double-species biofilm was investigated in an in vitro model. The biomass of the formed/non-degraded biofilm was analyzed on the basis of its crystal violet staining. The number of colonies of S. mutans and C. albicans (CFU/mL, colony forming units/mL) forming the biofilm was determined. Microorganism morphology in the biofilm was evaluated using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In vitro analysis demonstrated that the presence of S. mutans increased the number of C. albicans colonies (CFU/mL); the double-species biofilm mass and hyphal forms produced in it by the yeast. L. salivarius inhibited the cariogenic biofilm formation of C. albicans and S. mutans. Under the influence of the probiotic; the biofilm mass and the number of S. mutans; C. albicans and S. mutans with C. albicans colonies in the biofilm was decreased. Moreover; it can be noted that after the addition of the probiotic; fungi did not form hyphae or germ tubes of pathogenic potential. These results suggest that L. salivarius can secrete intermediates capable of inhibiting the formation of cariogenic S. mutans and C. albicans biofilm; and may inhibit fungal morphological transformation and thereby reduce the pathogenicity of C. albicans; weakening its pathogenic potential. Further research is required to prove or disprove the long-term effects of the preparation and to achieve preventive methods.
Keywords: Candida albicans; Lactobacillus salivarius; Streptococcus mutans; cariogenic biofilm; probiotic.