Candida albicans alters the bacterial microbiome of early in vitro oral biofilms

M.M. Janus, W. Crielaard, C.M.C. Volgenant, M.H. van der Veen, B.W. Brandt, B.P. Krom

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The yeast Candida albicans is an oral commensal microorganism, occurring in the oral cavity of 50-70% of healthy individuals. Its effect on oral ecology has mostly been studied using dual-species models, which disregards the complex nature of oral biofilms. The aim of this study was to culture C. albicans in a complex model to study its effect on oral biofilms. Biofilms, inoculated using pooled stimulated saliva with or without addition of C. albicans, were grown under anaerobic, aerobic, or aerobic +5% CO2 conditions. Red autofluorescence was quantified using a spectrophotometer and visualized in fluorescence photographs. The microbiome of 5 h biofilms was determined using 16S rDNA sequencing. C. albicans was only able to proliferate in biofilms grown under aerobic conditions. After 48 h, C. albicans did not induce differences in total biofilm formation, lactic acid accumulation (cariogenic phenotype) or protease activity (periodontitis phenotype). In vitro, anaerobically grown biofilms developed red autofluorescence, irrespective of inoculum. However, under aerobic conditions, only C. albicans-containing biofilms showed red autofluorescence. Facultative or strict anaerobic Veillonella, Prevotella, Leptotrichia, and Fusobacterium genera were significantly more abundant in biofilms with C. albicans. Biofilms without C. albicans contained more of the aerobic and facultative anaerobic genera Neisseria, Rothia, and Streptococcus. The presence of C. albicans alters the bacterial microbiome in early in vitro oral biofilms, resulting in the presence of strictly anaerobic bacteria under oxygen-rich conditions. This in vitro study illustrates that C. albicans should not be disregarded in healthy oral ecosystems, as it has the potential to influence bacteria significantly.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1270613
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Oral Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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