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Investigation of Streptococcus salivarius-mediated inhibition of pneumococcal adherence to pharyngeal epithelial cells

  • 2016-09-29
  • BMC Microbiology 16(1)
    • Jayne Manning
    • Jayne Manning
    • E. Dunne
    • P. Wescombe
    • J. Hale
    • E. Mulholland
    • E. Mulholland
    • J. Tagg
    • R. Robins-Browne
    • R. Robins-Browne
    • C. Satzke
    • C. Satzke

Abstract

Background: Pneumococcal adherence to the nasopharyngeal epithelium is a critical step in colonisation and disease. The probiotic bacterium, Streptococcus salivarius, can inhibit pneumococcal adherence to epithelial cells in vitro. We investigated the mechanism(s) of inhibition using a human pharyngeal epithelial cell line (Detroit 562) following pre-administration of two different strains of S. salivarius.

Results: Whilst the bacteriocin-encoding megaplasmids of S. salivarius strains K12 and M18 were essential to prevent pneumococcal growth on solid media, they were not required to inhibit pneumococcal adherence. Experiments testing S. salivarius K12 and two pneumococcal isolates (serotypes 19F and 6A) showed that inhibition of 19F may involve S. salivarius-mediated blocking of pneumococcal binding sites: a negative correlation was observed between adherence of K12 and 19F, and no inhibition occurred when K12 was prevented from contacting epithelial cells. K12-mediated inhibition of adherence by 6A may involve additional mechanisms, since no correlation was observed between adherence of K12 and 6A, and K12 could inhibit 6A adherence in the absence of cell contact.

Conclusions: These results suggest that S. salivarius employs several mechanisms, including blocking pneumococcal binding sites, to reduce pneumococcal adherence to pharyngeal epithelial cells. These findings extend our understanding of how probiotics may inhibit pneumococcal adherence and could assist with the development of novel strategies to prevent pneumococcal colonisation in the future.

Keywords: Adherence; Colonisation; Pneumococcus; Probiotic mechanisms; Probiotics; Respiratory tract; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Streptococcus salivarius.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Streptococcus salivarius K12Blocked Pneumococcal Binding SitesBeneficial
Moderate
Streptococcus salivarius K12Reduced Pneumococcal AdherenceBeneficial
Moderate

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