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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2008 Dec;23(6):492-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302X.2008.00460.x.

Biofilm formation and autoinducer-2 signaling in Streptococcus intermedius: role of thermal and pH factors.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. nibrasa@odont.uio.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIM:

Bacteria sense their population density using autoinducer (AI) signaling systems. The AI-2 signal is thought to mediate communication among and within bacterial species. Streptococcus intermedius is a commensal organism frequently associated with periodontitis and purulent infections. We investigated the role of AI-2 signaling in S. intermedius biofilm formation under temperatures and pH levels relevant to human physiology.

METHODS:

Bioluminescence was used to monitor the change in AI-2 levels at various temperatures. Growth and biofilm formation in S. intermedius and its luxS mutant SI006 were measured at 35, 37, 39, and 41 degrees C and in pH ranging from 5.7 to 7.5. To confirm the role of AI-2 signals in biofilm formation, the AI-2 precursor (S)-4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione (DPD) was used to complement SI006 biofilm formation.

RESULTS:

S. intermedius AI-2 signals were detected at all growth temperatures but reached the highest levels at 37 degrees C. SI006 displayed significantly less biofilm formation than S. intermedius wild-type (WT); however, the role of AI-2 on biofilm formation was confined to 37 degrees C. DPD supplementation significantly increased SI006 biofilm formation to the S. intermedius WT level. The role of AI-2 in S. intermedius biofilm formation was not influenced by pH. High temperatures and low pH enhanced biofilm formation in both S. intermedius and its luxS mutant.

CONCLUSIONS:

High temperature and acidic conditions may favor biofilm formation by S. intermedius. The role of AI-2 in biofilm formation by S. intermedius, however, varies with physiological temperature changes. These results may assist in understanding possible behavior relative to health and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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