Inhibitory capacity of Rhus coriaria L. extract and its major component methyl gallate on Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation by optical profilometry: Potential applications for oral health
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Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) bacterium is the most well recognized pathogen involved in pathogenesis of dental caries. Its virulence arises from its ability to produce a biofilm and acidogenicity, causing tooth decay. Discovery of natural products capable to inhibit biofilm formation is of high importance for developing health care products. To the best of our knowledge, in all previous scientific reports, a colorimetric assay was applied to test the effect of sumac and methyl gallate (MG) on S. mutans adherence. Quantitative assessment of the developed biofilm should be further performed by applying an optical profilometry assay, and by testing the effect on both surface roughness and thickness parameters of the biofilm. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the effect of sumac extract and its constituent MG on biofilm formation using an optical profilometry assay. Testing antibacterial activity of the sumac extract and its fractions revealed that MG is the most bioactive component against S. mutans bacteria. It reduced S. mutans biofilm biomass on the polystyrene surface by 68‑93%, whereas 1 mg/ml MG was able to decrease the biofilm roughness and thickness on the glass surface by 99%. MG also prevented a decrease in pH level by 97%. These bioactivities of MG occurred in a dose‑dependent manner and were significant vs. untreated bacteria. The findings are important for the development of novel pharmaceuticals and formulations of natural products and extracts that possess anti‑biofilm activities with primary applications for oral health, and in a broader context, for the treatment of various bacterial infections.