Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 310–315 | Cite as

Lipoteichoic acids of lactobacilli inhibit Enterococcus faecalis biofilm formation and disrupt the preformed biofilm

  • Solmin Jung
  • Ok-Jin Park
  • A. Reum Kim
  • Ki Bum Ahn
  • Dongwook Lee
  • Kee-Yeon Kum
  • Cheol-Heui Yun
  • Seung Hyun HanEmail author
Microbial Pathogenesis and Host-Microbe Interaction


Enterococcus faecalis, a Gram-positive bacterium commonly isolated in patients with refractory apical periodontitis, invades dentin tubules easily and forms biofilms. Bacteria in biofilms, which contribute to recurrent and/or chronic inflammatory diseases, are more resistant to antimicrobial agents than planktonic cells and easily avoid phagocytosis. Although Lactobacillus plantarum lipoteichoic acid (Lp.LTA) is associated with biofilm formation, the effect of Lp.LTA on biofilm formation by E. faecalis is not clearly understood. In this study, we investigated whether Lp.LTA inhibits E. faecalis biofilm formation. The degree of biofilm formation was determined by using crystal violet assay and LIVE/DEAD bacteria staining. The quantification of bacterial growth was determined by measuring the optical density at 600 nm with a spectrophotometer. Formation of biofilms on human dentin slices was observed under a scanning electron microscope. E. faecalis biofilm formation was reduced by Lp.LTA treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Lp.LTA inhibited biofilm development of E. faecalis at the early stage without affecting bacterial growth. LTA from other Lactobacillus species such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG also inhibited E. faecalis biofilm formation. In particular, among LTAs from various lactobacilli, Lp.LTA showed the highest inhibitory effect on biofilms formed by E. faecalis. Interestingly, LTAs from lactobacilli could remove the biofilm preformed by E. faecalis. These inhibitory effects were also observed on the surface of human dentin slices. In conclusion, Lactobacillus species LTA inhibits biofilm formation caused by E. faecalis and it could be used as an anti-biofilm agent for prevention or treatment against E. faecalis-associated diseases.


biofilm Enterococcus faecalis lipoteichoic acid lactobacilli apical periodontitis 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Solmin Jung
    • 1
  • Ok-Jin Park
    • 1
  • A. Reum Kim
    • 1
  • Ki Bum Ahn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dongwook Lee
    • 1
  • Kee-Yeon Kum
    • 3
  • Cheol-Heui Yun
    • 4
    • 5
  • Seung Hyun Han
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Oral Microbiology and Immunology, DRI, and BK21 Plus Program, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Research Division for BiotechnologyKorea Atomic Energy Research InstituteJeongeupRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Conservative Dentistry, DRI, and Seoul Dental Hospital for Disabled, School of DentistrySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology and Research Institute for Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Institute of Green Bio Science TechnologySeoul National UniversityPyeongchangRepublic of Korea

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