Isolation of Lactic acid bacteria showing antagonistic activity against Streptococcus mutans

Original Research


Background and Objectives: Streptococcus mutans is a major pathogen that initiates dental plaque and dental caries due to its strong acid production and biofilm-forming ability. Recent studies showed that lactic acid bacteria (LAB), exert useful properties which make them become potential tools to fight against S. mutans and its relating diseases. The current study aimed to isolate and screen for LAB strains that could inhibit S. mutans growth as well as its biofilm production.

Methods and Results: Using the spread plate technique, fifty-one LAB strains were isolated from fermented vegetables and healthy human saliva. From that, fourteen isolates showed the inhibitory effect on S. mutans growth in well-diffusion assay. These strains were then screened on the ability in reducing S. mutans biofilm formation by colorimetric assay. Next, potential LAB was evaluated on some probiotic characteristics including saliva amylase tolerance, acid tolerance, bile tolerance as well as antibiotic susceptibility properties. As a result, four strains showed the most promising features were further tested for the ability to reduce Streptococcus mutans biofilm by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation and by expression analysis of biofilm-forming genes (gtfB and luxS) using RT-qPCR method. Finally, these four strains were identified to species level using API® 50 CHL kit and 16S rDNA sequencing method. The result showed that two strains belong to L. plantarums, one belongs to L. brevis and the other is Weisella confusa

Conclusion: This study was successful in isolating LAB that showed promising probiotic effects against S. mutans.

Graphical abstract