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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2017 Jul 28;27(7):1242-1248. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1701.01026.

Antimicrobial and Anti-Biofilm Activities of the Methanol Extracts of Medicinal Plants against Dental Pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.

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Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Republic of Korea.
R&D Center, VERICOM CO., LTD, Anyang 14087, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Republic of Korea.


Several medicinal plants are ethnomedically used in Korea as agents for treating infection, anti-inflammation, and pain relief. However, beyond typical inhibitory effects on cell growth, little is known about the potential anti-biofilm activity of these herbs, which may help to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health. This study aimed to investigate the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities of the methanol extracts of 37 Korean medicinal plants against dental pathogens Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans, which synergize their virulence so as to induce the formation of plaque biofilms in the oral cavity. The antimicrobial activities were investigated by broth dilution and disk diffusion assay. The anti-biofilm and antioxidant activities were evaluated based on the inhibitory effect against glucosyltransferase (GTase) and the DPPH assay, respectively. Among 37 herbs, eight plant extracts presented growth and biofilm inhibitory activities against both etiologic bacteria. Among them, the methanol extracts (1.0 mg/ml) from Camellia japonica and Thuja orientalis significantly inhibited the growth of both bacteria by over 76% and over 83% in liquid media, respectively. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of these methanol extracts were determined to be 0.5 mg/ml using a disk diffusion assay on solid agar media. Biofilm formation was inhibited by more than 92.4% and 98.0%, respectively, using the same concentration of each extract. The present results demonstrate that the medicinal plants C. japonica and T. orientalis are potentially useful as antimicrobial and anti-biofilm agents in preventing dental diseases.


Camellia japonica; Candida albicans; Streptococcus mutans; Thuja orientalis; anti-biofilm activity; antimicrobial activity

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