Amino Sugars Modify Antagonistic Interactions between Commensal Oral Streptococci and Streptococcus mutans.


Department of Oral Biology, College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA [Email]


N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and glucosamine (GlcN) enhance the competitiveness of the laboratory strain DL1 of Streptococcus gordonii against the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans Here, we examine how amino sugars affect the interaction of five low-passage-number clinical isolates of abundant commensal streptococci with S. mutans by utilizing a dual-species biofilm model. Compared to that for glucose, growth on GlcN or GlcNAc significantly reduced the viability of S. mutans in cocultures with most commensals, shifting the proportions of species. Consistent with these results, production of H2O2 was increased in most commensals when growing on amino sugars, and inhibition of S. mutans by Streptococcus cristatus, Streptococcus oralis, or S. gordonii was enhanced by amino sugars on agar plates. All commensals except S. oralis had higher arginine deiminase activities when grown on GlcN and, in some cases, GlcNAc. In ex vivo biofilms formed using pooled cell-containing saliva (CCS), the proportions of S. mutans were drastically diminished when GlcNAc was the primary carbohydrate. Increased production of H2O2 could account in large part for the inhibitory effects of CCS biofilms. Surprisingly, amino sugars appeared to improve mutacin production by S. mutans on agar plates, suggesting that the commensals have mechanisms to actively subvert antagonism by S. mutans in cocultures. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that amino sugars can enhance the beneficial properties of low-passage-number commensal oral streptococci and highlight their potential for moderating the cariogenicity of oral biofilms.IMPORTANCE Dental caries is driven by dysbiosis of oral biofilms in which dominance by acid-producing and acid-tolerant bacteria results in loss of tooth mineral. Our previous work demonstrated the beneficial effects of amino sugars GlcNAc and GlcN in promoting the antagonistic properties of a health-associated oral bacterium, Streptococcus gordonii, in competition with the major caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans Here, we investigated 5 low-passage-number clinical isolates of the most common streptococcal species to establish how amino sugars may influence the ecology and virulence of oral biofilms. Using multiple in vitro models, including a human saliva-derived microcosm biofilm, experiments showed significant enhancement by at least one amino sugar in the ability of most of these bacteria to suppress the caries pathogen. Therefore, our findings demonstrated the mechanism of action by which amino sugars may affect human oral biofilms to promote health.


Streptococcus mutans,amino sugars,bacterial antagonism,clinical commensal isolates,hydrogen peroxide,

OUR Recent Articles