Interkingdom interactions on the denture surface: Implications for oral hygiene

C Delaney, L E O'Donnell, R Kean, L Sherry, J L Brown, G Calvert, C J Nile, L Cross, D J Bradshaw, B W Brandt, D Robertson, G Ramage

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evidence to support the role of Candida species in oral disease is limited. Often considered a commensal, this opportunistic yeast has been shown to play a role in denture related disease, though whether it is an active participant or innocent bystander remains to be determined. This study sought to understand the role of Candida species alongside the bacterial microbiome in a denture patient cohort, exploring how the microbiology of the denture was affected by oral hygiene practices.

Materials and methods
In vitro denture cleansing studies were performed on a complex 9-species interkingdom denture biofilm model, with quantitative assessment of retained bacterial and fungal viable bioburdens. Patient hygiene measures were also collected from 131 patients, including OHIP, frequency of denture cleansing, oral hygiene measure and patient demographics. The bacterial microbiome was analysed from each patient, alongside quantitative PCR assessment of ITS (fungal) and 16S (bacterial) bioburden from denture, mucosa and intact dentition.

It was shown that following in vitro denture cleansing C. albicans were unresponsive to treatment, whereas bacterial biofilms could repopulate 100-fold, but were susceptible to subsequent treatment. Within the patient cohort, oral hygiene did not impact candidal or bacterial composition, nor diversity. The levels of Candida did not significantly influence the bacterial microbiome, though an observed gradient was suggestive of a microbial composition change in response to Candida load, indicating interkingdom interaction rather than an oral hygiene effect. Indeed, correlation analysis was able to show significant correlations between Candida species and key genera (Lactobacillus, Scardovia, Fusobacterium).

Overall, this study has shown that the denture microbiome/mycobiome is relatively resilient to oral hygiene challenges, but that Candida species have potential interactions with key oral genera. These interactions may have a bearing on shaping community structure and a shift from health to disease when the opportunity arises.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100002
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Early online date27 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


We would like to acknowledge funding support of the BBSRC Industrial GlaxoSmithKline CASE PhD studentships for CD (BB/P504567/1) and LEO (BB/K501013/1).

FundersFunder number
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research CouncilBB/K501013/1, BB/P504567/1


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