Setup of an in vitro test system for basic studies on biofilm behavior of mixed-species cultures with dental and periodontal pathogens

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Abstract

Background: Caries and periodontitis are important human diseases associated with formation of multi-species biofilms. The involved bacteria are intensively studied to understand the molecular basis of the interactions in such biofilms. This study established a basic in vitro single and mixed-species culture model for oral bacteria combining three complimentary methods. The setup allows a rapid screening for effects in the mutual species interaction. Furthermore, it is easy to handle, inexpensive, and reproducible. Methods: Streptococcus mitis, S. salivarius and S. sanguinis, typical inhabitants of the healthy oral cavity, S. mutans as main carriogenic species, and orphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Parvimonas micra, S. intermedius and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans as periodontitis-associated bacteria, were investigated for their biofilm forming ability. Different liquid growth media were evaluated. Safranin-staining allowed monitoring of biofilm formation under the chosen conditions. Viable counts and microscopy permitted investigation of biofilm behavior in mixed-species and transwell setups. Findings: S. mitis, F. nucleatum, P. gingivalis and P. micra failed to form biofilm structures. S. mutans, S. sanguinis, S. intermedius and S. salivarius established abundant biofilm masses in CDM/sucrose. A. actinomycetemcomitans formed patchy monolayers. For in depth analysis S. mitis, S. mutans and A. actinomycetemcomitans were chosen, because i) they are representatives of the physiological-, cariogenic and periodontitis-associated bacterial flora, respectively and ii) their difference in their biofilm forming ability. Microscopic analysis confirmed the results of safranin staining. Investigation of two species combinations of S. mitis with either S. mutans or A. actinomycetemcomitans revealed bacterial interactions influencing biofilm mass, biofilm structure and cell viability. Conclusions: This setup shows safranin staining, microscopic analysis and viable counts together are crucial for basic examination and evaluation of biofilms. Our experiment generated meaningful results, exemplified by the noted S. mitis influence, and allows a fast decision about the most important bacterial interactions which should be investigated in depth. © 2010 Standar et al.

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Standar, K., Kreikemeyer, B., Redanz, S., Münter, W. L., Laue, M., & Podbielski, A. (2010). Setup of an in vitro test system for basic studies on biofilm behavior of mixed-species cultures with dental and periodontal pathogens. PLoS ONE, 5(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013135

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