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The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of various dairy powders and milk constituents on the adhesion of a clinical isolate of Streptococcus mutans to hydroxylapatite (HA), an analogue of tooth enamel. Adhesion of a microorganism to a cell surface such as epithelial cells or tooth enamel is considered to be the first step in pathogenesis. Inhibiting this process may have therapeutic effects in vivo. The adherence assays were performed by incubating S. mutans with HA in the presence of each test material for 45 min, followed by centrifugal separation of the HA. Unbound bacteria were then quantified using a fluorescent dye. Sweet and Acid WPC80, buttermilk powder and cream powder were found to very effectively inhibit adherence of S. mutans to phosphate-buffered saline coated HA (PBS-HA). Sodium caseinate and the casein fractions a-,b- and j-casein were also found to show high levels of anti-adhesive activity. A selection of test materials were assessed using saliva-coated HA (S-HA), and similar trends were observed. The results suggest commercial dairy powders, and certain milk proteins, can inhibit adhesion of S. mutans to HA and may have potential to control dental caries.
Halpin, R. (2008) Inhibition of adhesion of Streptococcus mutans to hydroxylapatite by commercial dairy powders and individual milk proteins. European food research and technology. Sept. 2008, Vol. 227, Issue 5, p.1499-1506. doi:10.1007/s00217-008-0872-4