Background: Oral candidiasis is a frequent form of candidiasis, caused by Candida species, in particular, Candida albicans (C. albicans). The transition of C. albicans from yeast to hyphae allows its attachment to epithelial cells, followed by biofilm formation, invasion, and tissue damage. Hence, we investigated the effect of Streptococcus salivarius subspecies thermophilus (S thermophilus) on the growth as well as biofilm and germ-tube formation of C. albicans both in vitro and in vivo in a murine model.
Methods: This experimental study was performed in the Department of Medical Mycology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, in collaboration with the Central Research Laboratory and the Comparative Biomedical Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran (2017 to 2018). The inhibitory activity of S. thermophilus against Candida species growth was evaluated using the broth microdilution method, and the inhibition of C. albicans biofilm formation was measured using the XTT assay. The inhibition of C. albicans germ-tube formation by S. thermophilus was evaluated using the plate assay and ﬂuorescence microscopy. The experimental activity of the probiotic bacterium was assessed by culture and histopathological methods in six groups of five mice, comprising those treated with four concentrations of probiotics, fluconazole, and distilled water. The one-way analysis of variance, followed by a Tukey post hoc test, was used and a P value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: S. thermophilus inhibited Candida species growth at concentrations of 16 to 512 µg/mL. This probiotic inhibited the formation of C. albicans biofilms and germ tubes in a dose-dependent manner. S. thermophilus significantly reduced the colony-forming units in the mice receiving 30 mg/mL of this probiotic treatment compared with the control group (P=0.024). The histopathological analysis showed that Candida colonization was diminished in the mice following the administration of the probiotic.
Conclusion: Given the inhibitory activity of S. thermophilus against the growth, transition, and biofilm formation of C. albicans, it could be used in the management of oral candidiasis.