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Braz J Microbiol. 2011 Oct-Dec; 42(4): 1248–1258.
Published online 2011 December 1. doi:  10.1590/S1517-83822011000400001
PMCID: PMC3768731

Mutacins of Streptococcus mutans

Abstract

The colonization and accumulation of Streptococcus mutans are influenced by various factors in the oral cavity, such as nutrition and hygiene conditions of the host, salivary components, cleaning power and salivary flow and characteristics related with microbial virulence factors. Among these virulence factors, the ability to synthesize glucan of adhesion, glucan-binding proteins, lactic acid and bacteriocins could modify the infection process and pathogenesis of this species in the dental biofilm. This review will describe the role of mutacins in transmission, colonization, and/or establishment of S. mutans, the major etiological agent of human dental caries. In addition, we will describe the method for detecting the production of these inhibitory substances in vitro (mutacin typing), classification and diversity of mutacins and the regulatory mechanisms related to its synthesis.

Keywords: Streptococcus mutans, mutacin, mutacintyping

Articles from Brazilian Journal of Microbiology are provided here courtesy of Elsevier