Oral microbiota as a source of probiotics

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The oral cavity is a complex habitat of a great diversity of microbial species.

Recently, it has been estimated that over 1000 bacterial species are present in it. The most commonly used probiotic bacterial strains belong to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. So, there is of special interest to realize whether such microbes naturally inhabit the oral cavity. In the oral cavity, lactobacilli usually comprise 1% of the total cultivable bacteria; commonly isolated species include L .paracaseie, L.plantarum, L.rhamnosus, L.salivarius. Bifidobacteria! species isolated from oral samples include B.bifidum, B.dentium and B.longum.

A promising finding was that lactobacilli population differed in healthy and individuals with periodontal disease. In another study it is observed that healthy persons are populated by L. gasseriand L. fermentum, whereas the predominant species in periodontitis patients was L. plantarum while the first two were undetectable (Koll Kalis et al., 2005). Observations also showed that microorganisms with probiotic properties may really exist and inhabit in the oral cavity. Though, the complexity of biofilm development and interspecies interactions require more detailed investigations in order to state true probiotic candidates with activity in the oral cavity (Stamatova & Meurman, 2009).

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