The occurrence of Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 9843 on tonsillar scrapings was studied after single-dose administration. Six healthy volunteers gargled 100 ml of fermented oatmeal gruel containing 2 x 10(11) colony forming units (cfu) of Lb. plantarum DSM 9843 for 2 min and then swallowed it. Two healthy volunteers drank 50 ml fermented oatmeal gruel (containing 1 x 10(11) cfu of Lb. plantarum DSM 9843) mixed with 50 ml fruit juice, and in another experiment, 5 ml fermented oatmeal gruel (containing 1 x 10(10) cfu of Lb. plantarum DSM 9843) mixed with 95 ml fruit juice. Lb. plantarum DSM 9843 were found in tonsillar scrapings 4-8 h after intake of 2 x 10(11) cfu, for 5-8 h after intake of 1 x 10(11) cfu, and finally up to 4 h after intake of 1 x 10(10) cfu. On electron microscopy micrographs, short rod-shaped bacteria were visible 1 h after intake of the fermented oatmeal gruel, but not 2 h after intake. The results suggest that Lb. plantarum DSM 9843 possess an ability to adhere to tonsillar cells.