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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2004 Oct;19(5):322-6.

Biofilm growth of Lactobacillus species is promoted by Actinomyces species and Streptococcus mutans.

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Dental Research Group, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, Wellington, New Zealand.


The ability of oral bacteria to integrate within a biofilm is pivotal to their survival. A dependence on the amount of biofilm growth by noncoaggregating Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus plantarum on coculture with Actinomyces naeslundii, Actinomyces gerencseriae, Streptococcus mutans and Veillonella parvula was investigated using an artificial-mouth culture system. Biofilm formation by the lactobacilli in mono-culture was poor. In coculture with Actinomyces species the amount of L. rhamnosus increased 7-20 times and L. plantarum 4-7 times compared to its mono-culture biofilm. S. mutans also promoted substantial biofilm growth of lactobacilli but V. parvula had no effect. We conclude that these Actinomyces species promoted growth of key Lactobacillus species in a biofilm, as did S. mutans to a smaller extent, and that the ability of individual bacteria to form mono-culture biofilms is not necessarily an indicator of their survival and pathogenic potential in a complex multispecies biofilm community.

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