Glycerol strengthens probiotic effect of Limosilactobacillus reuteri in oral biofilms: A synergistic synbiotic approach

Mol Oral Microbiol. 2022 Dec;37(6):266-275. doi: 10.1111/omi.12386. Epub 2022 Sep 22.


Both in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that the probiotic Limosilactobacillus reuteri can improve oral health. Limosilactobacillus reuteri species are known to produce the antimicrobial "reuterin" from glycerol. In order to further increase its antimicrobial activity, this study evaluated the effect of the combined use of glycerol and Limosilactobacillus reuteri (ATCC PTA 5289) in view of using a synergistic synbiotic over a probiotic. An antagonistic agar growth and a multispecies biofilm model showed that the antimicrobial potential of the probiotic was significantly enhanced against periodontal pathobionts and anaerobic commensals when supplemented with glycerol. Synbiotic biofilms also showed a significant reduction in inflammatory expression of human oral keratinocytes (HOK-18A), but only when the keratinocytes were preincubated with the probiotic. Probiotic preincubation of keratinocytes or probiotic and synbiotic treatment of biofilms alone was insufficient to significantly reduce inflammatory expression. Overall, this study shows that combining glycerol with the probiotic L. reuteri into a synergistic synbiotic can greatly improve the effectiveness of the latter.

Keywords: ATCC PTA 5289; Limosilactobacillus reuteri; glycerol; periodontitis; probiotic; synbiotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Biofilms
  • Glycerol / metabolism
  • Glycerol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri* / metabolism
  • Probiotics* / pharmacology
  • Synbiotics*


  • Glycerol
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents