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In vitro evaluation of yoghurt starter lactobacilli and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces


Iva Stamatova, 3 Christo Botev Blvd., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Tel.: + 359 32 602225; fax: +359 32632687; e-mail:


Aim:  The aim of the study was to evaluate the adhesion of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG to saliva-coated surfaces in vitro.

Methods:  Fifteen radiolabeled dairy L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus strains and L. rhamnosus GG were tested for their ability to adhere to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite beads and polystyrene microtiter plates and the radioactivity was measured by liquid scintillation counter. The effects of lysozyme on the adhesion of lactobacilli and of pretreatment with lactobacilli on the adhesion of Streptococcus sanguinis were also assessed.

Results:  All strains tested adhered to saliva-coated surfaces but with significantly different binding frequencies. The adhesion of the L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus strains remained lower in comparison to L. rhamnosus strain GG. One L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus strain showed binding frequency comparable to S. sanguinis. Lysozyme pretreatment of the samples significantly increased lactobacillus adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces.

Conclusion:  The present results showed significant variations in the adhesion capacity of the Lactobacillus strains studied. Adhesion to oral surfaces is of primary importance for bacterial colonization in the mouth. Only one of the L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus dairy starter culture strains investigated had a high adhesion percentage. This strain might then be considered for further investigations in the oral environment.