An In Vitro Model for Candida albicans–Streptococcus gordonii Biofilms on Titanium Surfaces
Ramasubramanian, Anand K.
Lopez-Ribot, Jose L.
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The oral cavity serves as a nutrient-rich haven for over 600 species of microorganisms. Although many are essential to maintaining the oral microbiota, some can cause oral infections such as caries, periodontitis, mucositis, and endodontic infections, and this is further exacerbated with dental implants. Most of these infections are mixed species in nature and associated with a biofilm mode of growth. Here, after optimization of different parameters including cell density, growth media, and incubation conditions, we have developed an in vitro model of <i>C. albicans–S. gordonii</i> mixed-species biofilms on titanium discs that is relevant to infections of peri-implant diseases. Our results indicate a synergistic effect for the development of biofilms when both microorganisms were seeded together, confirming the existence of beneficial, mutualistic cross-kingdom interactions for biofilm formation. The morphological and architectural features of these dual-species biofilms formed on titanium were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Mixed biofilms formed on titanium discs showed a high level of resistance to combination therapy with antifungal and antibacterial drugs. This model can serve as a platform for further analyses of complex fungal/bacterial biofilms and can also be applied to screening of new drug candidates against mixed-species biofilms.