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posted on 15.09.2020, 05:04 by Bob T. Rosier, Eva M. Moya-Gonzalvez, Paula Corell-Escuin, Alex Mira

Recent evidence indicates that the reduction of salivary nitrate by oral bacteria can contribute to prevent oral diseases, as well as increase systemic nitric oxide levels that can improve conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. The objective of the current manuscript was to isolate nitrate-reducing bacteria from the oral cavity of healthy donors and test their in vitro probiotic potential to increase the nitrate-reduction capacity (NRC) of oral communities. Sixty-two isolates were obtained from five different donors of which 53 were confirmed to be nitrate-reducers. Ten isolates were selected based on high NRC as well as high growth rates and low acidogenicity, all being Rothia species. The genomes of these ten isolates confirmed the presence of nitrate- and nitrite reductase genes, as well as lactate utilization genes, and the absence of antimicrobial resistance, mobile genetic elements and virulence genes. The pH at which most nitrate was reduced differed between strains. However, acidic pH 6 always stimulated the reduction of nitrite compared to neutral pH 7 or slightly alkaline pH 7.5 (p < 0.01). We tested the effect of six out of 10 isolates on in vitro oral biofilm development in the presence or absence of 6.5 mM nitrate. The integration of the isolates into in vitro communities was confirmed by Illumina sequencing. The NRC of the bacterial communities increased when adding the isolates compared to controls without isolates (p < 0.05). When adding nitrate (prebiotic treatment) or isolates in combination with nitrate (symbiotic treatment), a smaller decrease in pH derived from sugar metabolism was observed (p < 0.05), which for some symbiotic combinations appeared to be due to lactate consumption. Interestingly, there was a strong correlation between the NRC of oral communities and ammonia production even in the absence of nitrate (R = 0.814, p < 0.01), which indicates that bacteria involved in these processes are related. As observed in our study, individuals differ in their NRC. Thus, some may have direct benefits from nitrate as a prebiotic as their microbiota naturally reduces significant amounts, while others may benefit more from a symbiotic combination (nitrate + nitrate-reducing probiotic). Future clinical studies should test the effects of these treatments on oral and systemic health.

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