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Int J Med Microbiol. 2012 Jan;302(1):53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmm.2011.08.004. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Oral and faecal lactobacilli and their expression of mannose-specific adhesins in individuals with and without IgA deficiency.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Gothenburg University, S-41685 Göteborg, Sweden.


Lactobacilli are present in the intestine and oral cavity of most adults. Secretory IgA in mucosal secretions may provide carbohydrate receptors for bacterial adhesins. Here, oral and faecal samples from 33 IgA-deficient individuals and 34 controls were cultured for lactobacilli, which were identified using species-specific PCR or partial 16S rDNA sequencing and tested for expression of mannose-specific adhesins. Lactobacilli were found in the oral cavity of 76% of IgA-deficient and 85% of control individuals. Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus gasseri dominated in both groups. Lactobacillus fermentum was less common in IgA-deficient individuals than in controls (p=0.0055) and Lactobacillus salivarius was less common in symptomatic than in healthy IgA-deficient individuals (p=0.0051). Faecal samples yielded lactobacilli in most individuals. L. paracasei was most frequent, followed by L. gasseri and Lactobacillus plantarum. Mannose-specific adhesins were expressed more frequently by oral than by faecal isolates (p=0.032) and oral isolates adhered in higher numbers than faecal isolates (46 vs. 14 bacteria/cell, p=0.0038). Faecal isolates from IgA-deficient individuals more frequently expressed mannose-specific adhesins than faecal isolates from controls (p=0.039). Mannose-specific adhesins may be a colonisation factor in the oral cavity, and the presence of secretory IgA may modify adhesin expression. However, secretory IgA seems to have little influence on Lactobacillus species distribution.

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