Control of oral biofilm formation by an antimicrobial decapeptide

K. P. Leung, T. D. Crowe, J. J. Abercrombie, C. M. Molina, C. J. Bradshaw, C. L. Jensen, Q. Luo, G. A. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Oral biofilms are mixed-species microbial communities, and their uncontrolled outgrowth can express as oral diseases. Antimicrobial peptides represent alternative classes of antimicrobials that exhibit selectivity for prokaryotes. We wanted to test the effect of a synthetic decapeptide antimicrobial, KSL, on the development of oral biofilms formed by isolated human salivary bacteria. We used differential interference contrast microscopy, coupled with a dual-flow cell system, to determine the effect of KSL on oral biofilm development. We used reductions of viable counts and confocal microscopy to assess the bactericidal activity of KSL on mature oral biofilms. KSL effectively blocked biofilm development. A significant effect on the viability of mature biofilms was observed when KSL was used in the presence of a surface-active agent, or after biofilms were mechanically disrupted. This study shows that KSL may be a useful adjunct for conventional oral hygiene to prevent plaque-mediated dental diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1177
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Dual-flow cell
  • Oral biofilms
  • Salivary bacteria
  • Surface-active agent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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