Influence of Oral Probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on Ear and Oral Cavity Health in Humans: Systematic Review


Traditionally, probiotics are linked to the good health of the intestine and most clinical studies focus on that field. Evidence of oral probiotic use for ear and oral cavity disease prevention with impact on human health is limited. This work reviews existing studies and literature on Streptococcus salivarius K12 as an oral probiotic and effects of S. salivarius K12 on human ear and oral cavity human health. The studies were accessed via database searches: MEDLINE, PubMed, and Elsevier. The search included/focused on/encompassed publications from 2003 to 2016 with keywords related to K12 Streptococcus salivarius, bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances (BLIS) K12, probiotic K12 salivarius, and K12 probiotic health effects. Only a small amount of studies was identified: the total of 68 studies was identified, 35 of which were relevant after screening, and 9 were included in the final analysis. Very little literature is available about the association/correlation between/connection/interrelation of S. salivarius K12 with/and human ear and oral cavity health. S. salivarius K12 may have a role in reducing the occurrence and/or severity of secretory otitis media (SOM) and also in prevention of streptococcal and viral pharyngotonsillitis in children. Research highlights that S. salivarius K12 has shown promising results in treatment of halitosis, but data are still deficient. Further studies need to be initiated to improve understanding of the association of oral probiotic S. salivarius K12 with human ear and oral cavity health.

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Correspondence to Katarina Zupancic.

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Zupancic, K., Kriksic, V., Kovacevic, I. et al. Influence of Oral Probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 on Ear and Oral Cavity Health in Humans: Systematic Review. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 9, 102–110 (2017).

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  • Streptococcus salivarius K12
  • BLIS K12
  • Otitis media
  • Oral health