Author(s): Takahashi N, Saito K, Schachtele CF, Yamada T
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Abstract The tolerance to acid and the acid-neutralizing activity of three important periodontopathic bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia and Fusobacterium nucleatum were studied. P. gingivalis strains grew only at neutral pH and did not utilize glucose, whereas strains of P. intermedia and F. nucleatum could grow under acidic conditions and increased their growth by utilizing glucose. P. gingivalis tended to raise the culture pH during growth. P. intermedia and F. nucleatum raised the culture pH during growth in the absence of glucose, while in the presence of glucose they decreased the pH. Resting cell suspensions of all the bacteria raised the pH in the presence of tryptone and casamino acids. Acid-neutralizing activity was confirmed by measuring base production at a fixed pH with a pH-stat. During neutralization, the cells produced cytotoxic substrates, ammonia and organic acids (butyric, isobutyric and isovaleric acids by P. gingivalis; isovaleric and succinic acids by P. intermedia; propionic and butyric acids by F. nucleatum). These findings suggest that deamination of amino acids into ammonia and organic acids occurs simultaneously with base production, resulting in acid neutralization. These results could partially explain the survival of P. intermedia and F. nucleatum in both supragingival and subgingival plaque and the apparent restriction of P. gingivalis to subgingival plaque. The former bacteria may aid in creation of an environment fostering colonization of subgingival plaque by P. gingivalis.
This article was published in Oral Microbiol Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Probiotics & Health