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J Clin Periodontol. 1992 May;19(5):305-10.

Inhibition of peptidase and glycosidase activities of Porphyromonas gingivalis, Bacteroides intermedius and Treponema denticola by plant extracts.

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Hunterian Dental Research Unit, London Hospital Medical College, Whitechapel, UK.


Aqueous extracts from 5 plants used widely in Kenya as chewing sticks (mswaki) for the control of oral hygiene were tested for their ability to inhibit extracellular peptidase and glycosidase enzyme activities produced by the periodontopathic bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (formerly Bacteroides gingivalis), Bacteroides intermedius and Treponema denticola. The plants studied were Rhus natalensis, Cupressus hisitanica, Sida cordifolia, Olea africana and Euclea divinorum. Protease activities, including glycylprolyl dipeptidase and trypsin-like activities of P. gingivalis, chymotrypsin-like and glycylprolyl dipeptidase activities of B. intermedius and the trypsin-like activity of T. denticola, were particularly affected by extracts from Rhus natalensis and Euclea divinorum. Glycosidase activities were generally less affected with the notable exceptions of the inhibition of beta-mannosidase activity of P. gingivalis by all extracts and the inhibition of neuraminidase activity of T. denticola by Rhus natalensis and Euclea divinorum. Generally, these same proteolytic and glycosidic activities were inhibited by tannic acid and to lesser extents by gallic acid and gallic acid methyl ester. An inhibitory component, present in all extracts, exhibited physical and chemical properties identical to those of tannic acid. The inhibition of these enzyme activities is likely to reduce the virulence of these periodontophathic bacteria and to reduce the rate of dental plaque formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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