Streptococcus mutans contributes significantly to dental caries, which arises from homoeostasic imbalance between host and microbiota. We hypothesized that Lactobacillus sp. inhibits growth, biofilm formation and gene expression of Streptococcus mutans. Antibacterial (agar diffusion method) and antibiofilm (crystal violet assay) characteristics of probiotic Lactobacillus sp. against Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 25175) were evaluated. We investigated whether Lactobacillus casei (ATCC 393), Lactobacillus reuteri (ATCC 23272), Lactobacillus plantarum (ATCC 14917) or Lactobacillus salivarius (ATCC 11741) inhibit expression of Streptococcus mutans genes involved in biofilm formation, quorum sensing or stress survival using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Growth changes (OD600) in the presence of pH-neutralized, catalase-treated or trypsin-treated Lactobacillus sp. supernatants were assessed to identify roles of organic acids, peroxides and bacteriocin. Susceptibility testing indicated antibacterial (pH-dependent) and antibiofilm activities of Lactobacillus sp. against Streptococcus mutans. Scanning electron microscopy revealed reduction in microcolony formation and exopolysaccharide structural changes. Of the oral normal flora, L. salivarius exhibited the highest antibiofilm and peroxide-dependent antimicrobial activities. All biofilm-forming cells treated with Lactobacillus sp. supernatants showed reduced expression of genes involved in exopolysaccharide production, acid tolerance and quorum sensing. Thus, Lactobacillus sp. can inhibit tooth decay by limiting growth and virulence properties of Streptococcus mutans.
Keywords: Streptococcus mutans; biofilm; dental caries; probiotic Lactobacillus.
© 2018 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.