Effect of citrus lemon oil on growth and adherence of Streptococcus mutans
In order to exploit novel anticaries agents, we investigated the effects of citrus lemon oil (CLO), a type of natural product, on growth and adherence of the primary oral cariogenic bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). The growth inhibitory effect was explored with a micro-dilution assay. Adherence was analyzed by colony counts on the respective surfaces and the adherence inhibition rate (AIR). Real time–PCR was used to investigate the effects of CLO on transcription of glucosyltransferase (Gtf) encoding genes, gtfB, C and D. Neson-Somogyi method was used to measure the effects of CLO on Gtf activity. The minimum inhibitory concentration of CLO against S. mutans was 4.5 mg/ml. The CLO effectively reduced the adherence of S. mutans on glass surface (the AIR were from 98.3 to 100 %, P > 0.05) and saliva-coated enamel surface (the AIR were from 54.8 to 79.2 %, P < 0.05). CLO effectively reduced the activity of Gtf and the transcription of gtfs in a dose dependent manner (P < 0.05). In conclusion, CLO can effectively inhibit the growth and the adherence to glass and saliva-coated enamel surfaces of S. mutans. It can also inhibit the transcription of gtfs, as well as the Gtf enzyme activity.