Streptococcus enzyme could compete with toothbrushes, dental floss

Apr 03, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Investigators from Japan show in vitro that the bacterium Streptococcus salivarius, a non-biofilm forming, and otherwise harmless inhabitant of the human mouth, actually inhibits the formation of dental biofilms, otherwise known as plaque. Two enzymes this bacteria produces are responsible for this inhibition. The research is published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

“FruA may be useful for prevention of dental caries,” corresponding author Hidenobu Senpuku, of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo says of one of the enzymes. “The activity of the inhibitors was elevated in the presence of sucrose, and the inhibitory effects were dependent on the sucrose concentration in the formation assay medium,” the researchers write.

“We show that FruA produced by S. salivarius inhibited S. mutans biofilm formation completely in the in vitro assay supplemented with sucrose,” the researchers write. S. salivarius is the primary species of bacteria inhabiting the mouth, according to the report.

The authors suggest that FruA may actually regulate microbial pathogenicity in the oral cavity. They found that a commercial FruA, produced by Aspergillus niger, was as effective as S. salivarius FruA at inhibiting S. mutans biofilm formation, despite the fact that its amino acid composition is somewhat different from that of S. salivarius.

FruA is produced not only by S. salivarius, but by other oral streptococci. Much of the oral microbial flora consists of many beneficial species of bacteria that help maintain oral health and control the progression of oral disease.

Explore further: NYSCF Research Institute announces largest-ever stem cell repository

More information: A. Ogawa, S. Furukawa, S. Fujita, J. Mitobe, T. Kawarai, N. Narisawa, T. Sekizuka, M. Kuroda, K. Ochiai, H. Ogihara, S. Kosono, S. Yoneda, H. Watanabe, Y. Morinaga, H. Uematsu, and H. Senpuku, 2011. Inhibition of Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation by Streptococcus salivarius FruA. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:1572-1580. www.asm.org/images/Communicati… 11/0311%20dental.pdf

Provided by American Society For Microbiology

5 /5 (6 votes)

Related Stories

Taking a closer look at plaque

Oct 26, 2010

A team of University of Rochester scientists is using the technique of Raman spectroscopy to study two common dental plaque bacteria, Streptococcus sanguis and mutans. The relative balance of the two may be an indicator of ...

Scientists turn the tables on infectious bacteria

Dec 14, 2010

A Newcastle University research team has made a significant advance in the ongoing fight against bacterial infections - by turning the infectious microbe's own weapon against itself.

Recommended for you

Crowdsourced power to solve microbe mysteries

18 hours ago

University of New South Wales scientists hope to unlock the secrets of millions of marine microbes from waters as far apart as Sydney's Botany Bay and the Amazon River in Brazil, with the help of an international ...

Reading a biological clock in the dark

Oct 21, 2014

Our species' waking and sleeping cycles – shaped in millions of years of evolution – have been turned upside down within a single century with the advent of electric lighting and airplanes. As a result, ...

User comments : 0