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A Comparison of Flavorless Electronic Cigarette-Generated Aerosol and Conventional Cigarette Smoke on the Survival and Growth of Common Oral Commensal Streptococci

1
Department of Biology, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA 18104, USA
2
Department of Medical Laboratory Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN 37752, USA
3
Department of Biology, School of Mathematics and Sciences, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN 37752, USA
4
Department of Physiology, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN 37752, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101669
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarettes: Good and Bad Impacts)
Background: The use of electronic cigarettes (ECIG) has become very common. Consequently, critical analysis of the biological effects of ECIG aerosol deserves attention. Flavorless ECIG aerosol is known to comprise fewer harmful constituents than cigarette smoke. Therefore, we hypothesize that aerosol has less immediate effect on the viability of oral commensal streptococci than smoke. Methods: Survival and growth of four strains of commensal streptococci were measured after exposure to flavorless ECIG aerosol ± nicotine and smoke. Peristaltic pumps were used to transport aerosol or smoke into chambers containing recently seeded colony-forming units (CFUs) of the oral commensal streptococci on agar plates. Bacterial survival and growth, based on colony counts and sizes, were determined 24 h post-exposure. Additionally, aerosol or smoke were delivered into chambers containing pre-adhered streptococci to plastic coverslips and biofilm formation was determined 24 h post-exposure via scanning electron microscopy. Results: The results suggest that flavorless aerosol ± nicotine has a modest effect on bacterial growth both as colonies on agar and as biofilms. In contrast, smoke dramatically decreased bacterial survival and growth in all parameters measured. Conclusion: Unlike cigarette smoke, flavorless ECIG aerosol has only a small effect on the survival and growth of oral commensal streptococci. View Full-Text
Keywords: ECIG; E-liquid; vaping; smoking; aerosol; streptococci; oral commensal bacteria ECIG; E-liquid; vaping; smoking; aerosol; streptococci; oral commensal bacteria
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Cuadra, G.A.; Smith, M.T.; Nelson, J.M.; Loh, E.K.; Palazzolo, D.L. A Comparison of Flavorless Electronic Cigarette-Generated Aerosol and Conventional Cigarette Smoke on the Survival and Growth of Common Oral Commensal Streptococci. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1669.

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