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Microbios. 2001;105(411):77-85.

Lactobacilli in human dental caries and saliva.

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Genetics Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos.


Samples (98 plaque and 72 saliva) from 93 patients with dental caries were investigated for Lactobacillus species which comprised 65 (62.5%) of 104 isolates. Yeasts (20.1%), Streptococcus spp. (8.7%), Staphylococcus spp. (2.9%) and a few unidentified species (5.8%), were also found. The Lactobacillus isolates were L. brevis (24.6%) L. fermentum (18.5%) L. casei (16.9%), L. delbrueckii (15.4%), L. plantarum (9.23%), L. acidophilus (7.69%), L. jensenii (4.62%), L. salivarius (1.54%) and L. gasseri (1.54%). The most common species was L. brevis (24.6%). The strains tested for beta-lactamase production showed 75.4% positive. All the Lactobacillus strains were tested for bacteriocin production against Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Shigella dysenteriae, S. sonnei, Klebsiella spp. and Campylobacter sp. All the lactobacilli except L. jensenii produced bacteriocin against at least one of the indicator organisms. The involvement of Lactobacillus in dental caries was established, although its role and mechanism is not well understood. The ability of Lactobacillus spp. to protect their host against certain diseases by inhibiting the growth of potential pathogens was evident.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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