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J Med Microbiol. 2000 Nov;49(11):969-75.

Competition for glucose between Candida albicans and oral bacteria grown in mixed culture in a chemostat.

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  • 1Oral and Dental Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.


The competition for glucose as a growth-limiting substrate between Candida albicans and a mixed community of oral bacteria was investigated. A chemostat was operated under glucose-limiting and glucose excess conditions at a dilution rate of 0.05/h. A mixed population of oral bacteria was established and after a steady state had been reached the chemostat was inoculated with C. albicans. Seven bacterial species Streptococcus sanguis, S. sobrinus, S. mitis, Lactobacillus casei, Veillonella dispar, Eubacterium saburreum and Fusobacterium nucleatum - were able to establish stable populations under glucose-limiting conditions. The yeast was unable to grow with the bacteria under glucose limitation. Only three bacterial species, S. sobrinus, L. casei and E. saburreum, became established under glucose-excess conditions. C. albicans was also able to become established in the glucose-excess chemostat and could grow and maintain a steady state in a mixed culture with these organisms. L. casei, S. mitis and S. sobrinus had faster glucose consumption rates than C. albicans. All the bacteria, except for E nucleatum, had maximum specific growth rates higher than C. albicans. The results suggest that glucose may act as a growth-limiting substrate for C. albicans in the establishment and growth of the yeast in a mixed community of oral bacteria.

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