Mucosal Environment Induces Phage Susceptibility in Streptococcus mutans
Pathogenic bacteria are attracted toward mucosa, as it is their way of entry into the body. However, we know surprisingly little about the phage-bacterium interactions in the mucosal environment. Here, we explored the effect of the mucosal environment on growth characteristics and phage-bacterium interactions in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of dental caries. We found that although mucin supplementation increased bacterial growth and survival, it decreased S. mutans biofilm formation. More importantly, the presence of mucin had a significant effect on S. mutans phage susceptibility. In two experiments done in Brain Heart Infusion Broth, phage M102 replication was detected only with 0.2% mucin supplementation. In 0.1 × Tryptic Soy Broth, 0.5% mucin supplementation led to a 4-log increase in phage titers compared with the control. These results suggest that the mucosal environment can have a major role in the growth, phage sensitivity, and phage resistance of S. mutans, and underline the importance of understanding the effect of mucosal environment on phage-bacterium interactions.
PublisherMary Ann Liebert
CitationSundberg, Rantanen, de Freitas Almeida. Mucosal Environment Induces Phage Susceptibility in Streptococcus mutans. PHAGE: Therapy, Applications, and Research. 2022;3(3):128-135
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