Characterization of a Lactobacillus brevis strain with potential oral probiotic properties

BMC Microbiol. 2018 Dec 22;18(1):221. doi: 10.1186/s12866-018-1369-3.


Background: The microflora composition of the oral cavity affects oral health. Some strains of commensal bacteria confer probiotic benefits to the host. Lactobacillus is one of the main probiotic genera that has been used to treat oral infections. The objective of this study was to select lactobacilli with a spectrum of probiotic properties and investigate their potential roles in oral health.

Results: An oral isolate characterized as Lactobacillus brevis BBE-Y52 exhibited antimicrobial activities against Streptococcus mutans, a bacterial species that causes dental caries and tooth decay, and secreted antimicrobial compounds such as hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid. Compared to other bacteria, L. brevis BBE-Y52 was a weak acid producer. Further studies showed that this strain had the capacity to adhere to oral epithelial cells. Co-incubation of L. brevis BBE-Y52 with S. mutans ATCC 25175 increased the IL-10-to-IL-12p70 ratio in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which indicated that L. brevis BBE-Y52 could alleviate inflammation and might confer benefits to host health by modulating the immune system.

Conclusions: L. brevis BBE-Y52 exhibited a spectrum of probiotic properties, which may facilitate its applications in oral care products.

Keywords: Adhesion; Antimicrobial activity; Hydrogen peroxide; Immunomodulation; Lactobacillus brevis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Caries / drug therapy
  • Dental Caries / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus brevis / genetics
  • Lactobacillus brevis / isolation & purification
  • Lactobacillus brevis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / isolation & purification*
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Streptococcus mutans / physiology
  • Young Adult