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Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(5):638-43.

Antimicrobial activity of Gel-entrapped catechins toward oral microorganisms.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Nihon University School of Dentistry, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


The oral cavity contains almost half of the commensal bacterial population present in the human body. An increase in the number of these microorganisms may result in systemic diseases such as infective endocarditis and aspiration pneumonia as well as oral infections. It is essential to control the total numbers of these microorganisms in order to suppress disease onset. Thus, we examined the antimicrobial activity of a newly developed gel-entrapped catechin (GEC) preparation against oral microorganisms. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of GEC was determined based on the relationship between a modified agar diffusion method and a broth microdilution method. GEC inhibited the growth of the Actinomyces, periodontopathic bacteria and Candida strains tested, but did not inhibit the growth of the oral streptococci that are important in the normal oral flora. Commercially available moisture gels containing antimicrobial components showed antimicrobial activity against all of the tested strains. After a series of washes and after a 24-h incubation, GEC retained the antimicrobial activity of the catechins. Catalase prevented GEC-induced growth inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii and Streptococcus mutans suggesting that hydrogen peroxide may be involved in the antimicrobial activity of catechins. These results suggest that GEC may be useful for controlling oral microorganism populations and reducing the accumulation of dental plaque, thereby helping to prevent periodontal disease and oral candidiasis.

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