Int J Oral Biol.  2014 Jun;39(2):81-86.

Xylitol Sensitivity among Oral Streptococci

  • 1Department of Oral Microbiology, School of Dentistry, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Korea.
  • 2Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Dongnam Institute of Radiology and Medical Science, Busan, 619-950, Korea.


Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol that inhibits the growth of oral streptococci, including Streptococcus mutans. In this study, we tested xylitol sensitivity among the oral streptococci. We also compared nucleotide homology of putative fructose phosphotransferase system (PTS) and xylitol sensitivity, since xylitol is transported via the fructose PTS. Among the tested Streptococci, S. pneumonia showed the highest resistance to xylitol while S. gordonii and S. sanguinis showed the most sensitive growth inhibition. These streptococci could be grouped according to their xylitol sensitivity. S. mutans and S. salivarius showed similar bacterial growth inhibition by xylitol. S. mitis, S. oralis, S. pneumonia, S. intermedius and S. anginosus showed relatively low sensitivity to xylitol. When the genetic homologies of five fructose PTSs were compared among the tested streptococci, closely related streptococci showed similar sensitivity to xylitol. Taken together, fructose PTSs may mediate the sensitivity to xylitol in oral streptococci.


oral bacteria; Streptococcus; xylitol; fructose phosphotransferase system
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