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J Oral Microbiol. 2019 Apr 11;11(1):1599670. doi: 10.1080/20002297.2019.1599670. eCollection 2019.

Metatranscriptomic analysis of an in vitro biofilm model reveals strain-specific interactions among multiple bacterial species.

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Central Laboratory, Peking University School and Hospital of Stomatology & National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases & National Engineering Laboratory for Digital and Material Technology of Stomatology & Beijing Key Laboratory of Digital Stomatology, Beijing, China.
Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Interactions among bacteria can affect biofilm properties. Method: Here, we investigated the role of different bacteria in functional dysbiosis of an in vitro polymicrobial subgingival plaque model using both 16S rRNA and metatranscriptomic sequencing. Results: We found that high-virulence Porphyromonas gingivalis W83 had greater effects on the symbiotic species than the low-virulence P. gingivalis ATCC33277, and that Prevotella intermedia exacerbated the effects of W83. P. gingivalis significantly influenced the expression of genes related to metabolic pathways and quorum sensing of commensal oral species in a strain-specific manner. P. intermedia exerted synergistic effects with P. gingivalis W83 but antagonistic effects with strain ATCC33277, which may regulate the expression of virulence factors of P. gingivalis through the clp regulator. Discussion: The interaction networks indicated that the strongest correlation was between Fusobacterium nucleatum and Streptococcus mitis, which demonstrated their bridge and cornerstone roles in biofilm. Changes in the expression of genes relating to outer membrane proteins in F. nucleatum indicated that the addition of different bacteria can interfere with the co-adherence among F. nucleatum and other partners. Conclusion: We report here the existence of strain-specific interactions in subgingival plaque, which may enhance our understanding of periodontal micro-ecology and facilitate the development of improved plaque control strategies.


Biofilm; bacteria interaction; periodontal microbiology; periodontal pathogen; periodontitis

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