Inhibitory effects of fruit berry extracts on Streptococcus mutans biofilms

Nebu Philip*, H. M.H.N. Bandara, Shaneen J. Leishman, Laurence J. Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
274 Downloads (Pure)


Dark-colored fruit berries are a rich source of polyphenols that could provide innovative bioactive molecules as natural weapons against dental caries. High-quality extracts of cranberry, blueberry, and strawberry, and a combination of the three berry extracts (Orophenol), were used to treat 24-h-old Streptococcus mutans biofilms. The grown biofilms were treated with the berry extracts at concentrations ranging from 62.5 to 500 μg ml−1. Treated biofilms were assessed for metabolic activity, acidogenicity, biovolumes, structural organization, and bacterial viability. The biofilms treated with the cranberry and Orophenol extracts exhibited the most significant reductions in metabolic activity, acid production, and bacterial/exopolysaccharide (EPS) biovolumes, while their structural architecture appeared less compact than the control-treated biofilms. The blueberry extract produced significant reductions in metabolic activity and acidogenicity only at the highest concentration tested, without significantly affecting bacterial/EPS biovolumes or biofilm architecture. Strawberry extracts had no significant effects on S. mutans biofilms. None of the berry extracts were bactericidal for S. mutans. The results indicate that cranberry extract was the most effective extract in disrupting S. mutans virulence properties without significantly affecting bacterial viability. This suggests a potential ecological role for cranberry phenols as non-bactericidal agents capable of modulating pathogenicity of cariogenic biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oral Sciences
Early online date28 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2018


  • biofilm ecology
  • dental caries
  • natural products


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