The Streptococcal Bacteriocin-like Inhibitory Substance, Zoocin A, Reduces the Proportion of Streptococcus mutans in an Artificial Plaque

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Simmonds, R. S. ; Naidoo, J. ; Jones, C. L. ; Tagg, J. R. (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v8i6.8322

This paper reports the characterisation of a bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance (BLIS), zoocin A, produced by Streptococcus zooepidemicus strain 4881 that exhibits inhibitory activity against strains of S. mutans, S. sobrinus and S. cricetus. A study of the inhibitory activity of strain 4881 against 98 bacterial strains using a deferred antagonism procedure showed that S. mutans strains were relatively more sensitive than were strains of S. salivarius and S. sanguis. Zoocin A was purified from the supernate fluid of chemically defined medium cultures of strain 4881. Purified zoocin A (a protein of estimated MW 30 000) retained biological activity over a wide pH range (4–10), was sensitive to several proteolytic enzymes and was relatively stable at 37°C but not at 60°C. A triple-species (S. mutans, S. sanguis and Actinomyces viscosus) plaque model was used to test the ability of zoocin A to modify plaque composition. Brief (2 min) exposure of preformed plaque to zoocin A resulted in a significant decrease in the proportion of S. mutans and this effect persisted for up to 20 h after treatment.Keywords: Streptococcus mutans, bacteriocin, plaque, ecology, caries.
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