The oral microbial population is extremely complex and diverse, where > 700 bacterial species interact competitively or cooperatively. These microbes are thought to play important roles in maintenance of oral health. An equally prevalent phenomenon in the oral environment is the presence of dental biofilm, which makes the bacterial association with tissues multifaceted and prone to many diseases. A recent study suggests that the oral microbiome changes its biofilm associated bacterial population from predominantly Gram-positive bacteria in healthy individuals, to predominantly Gram-negative pathogens in cases with periodontitis.Moreover, almost all dental infections are caused by biofilms consisting of a multispecies community, which makes the system far more resilient from an infectious disease perspective.
Herein, we describe a robust high throughput antibacterial discovery platform involving key virulence and resistance mechanisms as targets against a consortium of three microbes namely, Actinomyces viscosus, Streptococcus oralis, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. The success of the study represents a proof of concept towards the development of a new discovery platform, providing solutions for two major bottlenecks that impede the drug discovery pipeline: identification of novel drug leads and overcoming resistance due to indirect microbial targeting.