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Curr Microbiol. 2000 Sep;41(3):192-6.

Effect of a new variety of Apis mellifera propolis on mutans Streptococci.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry of Piracicaba, State University of Campinas, Caixa Postal 52, Piracicaba, 13414-900, SP, Brazil.


The effects of a new variety of propolis, from Northeastern Brazil (BA), on growth of mutans streptococci, cell adherence, and water-insoluble glucan (WIG) synthesis were evaluated. Propolis from Southeastern (MG) and Southern (RS) Brazil were also tested as an extension of our previous work. Ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP) were prepared and analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC. For the antibacterial activity assays, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of EEPs against Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus, and S. cricetus were determined. Cell adherence of S. mutans and S. sobrinus to a glass surface was measured spectrophotometrically at 550 nm. WIG synthesized from sucrose by glucosyltransferase (Gtf) was extracted and quantified by the phenol-sulfuric method. The HPLC profile of the new variety of propolis was entirely different from Southeastern and Southern propolis. Neither flavonoid aglycones nor p-coumaric acid were detected in EEP BA. All EEPs demonstrated biological activities against mutans streptococci; EEP BA showed the highest potency in all in vitro parameters evaluated in this study. The ranges of MIC values were 50 (EEP BA)-400 microg/ml (MG), for S. mutans; and 25 (BA)-400 microg/ml (MG), for S. sobrinus and S. cricetus. The bactericidal concentration of EEPs was four to eight times the MIC values. The adherence of S. mutans and S. sobrinus cells and WIG synthesis were markedly inhibited by EEPs, demonstrating significant inhibition at all concentrations compared with the control (80% ethanol) (p<0.05). EEP BA showed 80% inhibition of cell adherence and WIG synthesis at concentrations as low as 12.5 and 7.8 microg/ml, respectively. The results show that the new variety of propolis was exceptionally effective in all in vitro parameters tested against mutans streptococci; biological effects of propolis are likely not to be due solely to flavonoids and (hydroxy)cinnamic acid derivatives.

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