Inhibition of ecological emergence of mutans streptococci naturally transmitted between rats and consequent caries inhibition by Streptococcus salivarius TOVE-R infection.


The ability of Streptococcus salivarius strain TOVE-R to inhibit the ecological emergence of virulent representatives of the most prevalent human mutans streptococci on the teeth of specific pathogen-free Osborne-Mendel rats was studied. Rats which were infected by TOVE-R, or either S. mutans 10449S or S. sobrinus 6715-13WT, or uninfected were transiently co-caged so as to allow natural fecal transfer of organisms due to coprophagy. The infectants were differentially recovered from swabs of the teeth over the time course of the experiments and from sonified teeth at termination. Data were expressed on both relative (percentage) and absolute (CFU) bases. Initial oral colonization of rats by TOVE-R inhibited the ecological emergence of fecally transmitted S. mutans 10449S and S. sobrinus 6715-13WT. There was a generally inverse relationship between the percentages and absolute numbers of TOVE-R and the mutans streptococci on the teeth, which strongly suggested their competition for tooth sites. Absolute numbers of total recoverable flora from the teeth upon sonification were correlated with caries scores, thus suggesting that total recoverable flora counts substantially reflect cavitation status. TOVE-R itself induced no apparent caries activity and its transmission to rats already infected by 10449S or its colonization of rats before 10449S infection inhibition caries induction by this S. mutans strain; similar anticaries effects were not statistically significant for TOVE-R against 6715-13WT in these experiments. These data on the inhibition of the ecological emergence of the mutans streptococci supplement the already reported ability of TOVE-R to preempt initial colonization of teeth and partially displace the colonization of teeth by the mutans streptococci.

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