Thirteen strains of viridans group streptococci and two strains of other streptococci were tested for coaggregation with Candida albicans. Streptococcus sanguis strains generally exhibited low levels of adherence to 28 degrees C-grown exponential-phase yeast cells, but starvation of yeast cells for glucose at 37 degrees C (or at 28 degrees C) increased their coaggregating activity with these streptococci by at least tenfold. This was a property common to four C. albicans strains tested, two of which were able to form mycelia (6406 and MEN) and two of which were not (MM2002 and CA2). The expression of the coaggregation adhesin during yeast cell starvation was inhibited by addition of trichodermin or amphotericin B. The strains of S. sanguis, Streptococcus gordonii, and Streptococcus oralis tested for coaggregating activity encompassed a diverse range of physiological and morphological types, yet all exhibited saturable coaggregation with starved C. albicans cells. There was no correlation of cell surface hydrophobicity, of either yeast or streptococcal cells, with their abilities to coaggregate. Strains of Streptococcus anginosus also coaggregated with starved yeast cells; Streptococcus salivarius and Streptococcus pyogenes coaggregated to a lesser degree with C. albicans, and the coaggregation with S. pyogenes was not promoted by yeast cell starvation; Streptococcus mutans and Enterococcus faecalis did not coaggregate with yeast. The coaggregation reactions of S. sanguis and S. gordonii with C. albicans were inhibited by EDTA and by heat or protease treatment of the yeast cells and were not reversible by the addition of lactose or other simple sugars. These observations extend the range of intergeneric coaggregations that are known to occur between oral microbes and suggest that coaggregations of C. albicans with viridans group streptococci may be important for colonization of oral surfaces by the yeast.
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