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J Endod. 2001 Oct;27(10):616-9.

Susceptibilities of Enterococcus faecalis biofilms to some antimicrobial medications.

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Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.


Enterococcus faecalis has been suggested to be an important etiological agent in endodontic failures. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of chlorhexidine- or antibiotics-based medications in eliminating E. faecalis biofilms. One-day and three-day biofilms of E. faecalis were induced on cellulose nitrate membrane filters. Each biofilm-containing membrane was thoroughly covered with 1 ml of the test medications and incubated for 1 day at 37 degrees C. Treated biofilms were then aseptically transferred to vials containing a neutralizing agent in saline solution and vortexed. Suspensions were 10-fold diluted, seeded onto Mitis salivarius agar plates, and the colony-forming units counted after 48 h of incubation. There were significant differences between the formulations tested. The association of clindamycin with metronidazole significantly reduced the number of cells in 1-day biofilms. However of all medications tested, only 2% chlorhexidine-containing medications were able to thoroughly eliminate most of both 1-day and 3-day E. faecalis biofilms.

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