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Molecules. 2011 Nov 18;16(11):9611-9. doi: 10.3390/molecules16119611.

Antimicrobial evaluation of diterpenes from Copaifera langsdorffii oleoresin against periodontal anaerobic bacteria.

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Nucleus of Research in Sciences and Technology, University of Franca, Franca, SP, 14404-600, Brazil.


The antimicrobial activity of four labdane-type diterpenes isolated from the oleoresin of Copaifera langsdorffii as well as of two commercially available diterpenes (sclareol and manool) was investigated against a representative panel of microorganisms responsible for periodontitis. Among all the evaluated compounds, (-)-copalic acid (CA) was the most active, displaying a very promising MIC value (3.1 µg mL-1; 10.2 µM) against the key pathogen (Porphyromonas gingivalis) involved in this infectious disease. Moreover, CA did not exhibit cytotoxicity when tested in human fibroblasts. Time-kill curve assays performed with CA against P. gingivalis revealed that this compound only inhibited the growth of the inoculums in the first 12 h (bacteriostatic effect). However, its bactericidal effect was clearly noted thereafter (between 12 and 24 h). It was also possible to verify an additive effect when CA and chlorhexidine dihydrochloride (CHD, positive control) were associated at their MBC values. The time curve profile resulting from this combination showed that this association needed only six hours for the bactericidal effect to be noted. In summary, CA has shown to be an important metabolite for the control of periodontal diseases. Moreover, the use of standardized extracts based on copaiba oleoresin with high CA contents can be an important strategy in the development of novel oral care products.

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