Effect of storage temperature on Streptococcus mutans viability

Abstract Introduction Proper storage conditions and maintenance of viable biological material plays an important role in microbiological research, allowing for the opportunity to conduct future studies. Objective To evaluate the viability of Streptococcus mutans strains that were previously grown and stored under different temperatures for approximately eight years. Material and method In this study, we evaluated 393 bacterial isolates that were stored in a freezer at -80°C (G1) and 200 isolates stored in a freezer at -20°C (G2). Aliquots of each sample were plated on blood agar and mitis-salivarius bacitracin sucrose agar-solidified medium. After incubating under microaerophilic conditions in an incubator at 37°C for 72 hours, the presence, morphology and purity of bacterial growth was observed. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics. Result Microbial viability was observed in almost all samples (99.7%) in G1, whereas all isolates stored at -20°C were considered inviable. Conclusion The viability of S. mutans is influenced by the storage temperature of the samples, and the strains remain viable when stored under ideal temperature conditions (-80°C), even when stored for a long period of time.