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Caries Res. 2009;43(2):83-91. doi: 10.1159/000204911. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Acid production by oral strains of Candida albicans and lactobacilli.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine 'Carl Gustav Carus', Technische Universitat Dresden, Dresden, Germany.


Both Candida albicans and lactobacilli are common colonizers of carious lesions in children and adolescents. The purpose of this study is to compare the velocity of acid production between C. albicans and several Lactobacillus species at different pH levels and concentrations of glucose. Washed, pure resting-cell suspensions were obtained by culturing a total of 28 oral isolates comprising the species C. albicans, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus paracasei paracasei, Lactobacillus paracasei tolerans and Lactobacillus delbrueckii lactis. Acid production from glucose was determined at a constant pH of 7.0, 5.5, 5.0 and 4.0 by repeated titrations with NaOH in an automated pH-stat system. Acid formation rates of yeast and lactobacilli proved to be similar at both neutral and low pH, while in a moderately acidic environment C. albicans produced less acid than the lactobacilli. Ion chromatographic analysis of the cell-free medium after titration revealed pyruvate to be the predominant organic acid anion secreted by C. albicans. The proportion of organic acids to overall acid production by the yeast was below 10% at neutral conditions, in contrast to 42-66% at pH 4.0. Compared to lactobacilli, yeast required a concentration of glucose that was about 50 times higher to allow acid production at half the maximum speed. Considering the clinical data in the literature about the frequency and proportions of microorganisms present in early childhood caries lesions, the contribution of oral lactobacilli as well as C. albicans to overall microbial acid formation appears to be important.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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