Effect of the Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus LB21 on the Cariogenicity of Streptococcus mutans UA159 in a Dual-Species Biofilm Model

Logo Caries Research 

Vol. 49, No. 6, 2015
Issue release date: Published online first (Issue-in-Progress)


Despite promising results using probiotics, evidence of the preventive effect on enamel demineralization is insufficient and the cariogenic potential of probiotics is still controversial. Probiotics could affect biofilm formation and interfere with adherence, growth or coaggregation with Streptococcus mutans in biofilms. However, most of the studies have been conducted using planktonic bacteria. Hence, the aim of the study was to assess the effect of probiotic bacteria on the cariogenicity of S. mutans using an in vitro biofilm caries model on enamel. Single-species biofilms (S. mutans UA159, SM or Lactobacillus rhamnosus LB21, LB) or dual-species biofilms simultaneously inoculated (SM + LB) or LB inoculated 8 h after SM (SM → LB) were grown for 96 h. Biofilms were formed on bovine enamel saliva-coated slabs of known surface hardness (SH) and immersed in culture media. Biofilms were exposed 8 times per day to 10% sucrose. Medium pH was monitored twice daily as a biofilm acidogenicity indicator. After 96 h, biofilms were collected to determine biomass and bacteria viability. Slab demineralization was calculated as percentage of SH loss (%SHL). Additionally, the model was tested with different concentrations of the initial inoculum (103, 106, 108 cells/ml) and different adhesion times (2 or 8 h). The dual-species biofilm revealed no LB effects on SM cariogenicity, without changes in acidogenicity or %SHL among groups (p > 0.05, n = 12). Lack of activity of LB on SM cariogenicity persisted even when 105 times higher concentration of the probiotic was tested. Coaggregation was not observed. In conclusion, findings suggest that LB does not reduce cariogenicity of SM in a validated experimental caries model.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel