Bacteriostatic effects of hyaluronic acid

J Periodontol. 1999 Apr;70(4):370-4. doi: 10.1902/jop.1999.70.4.370.


Background: This investigation is one of a series of projects seeking to ascertain whether hyaluronic acid (HA) is therapeutically effective in tissue regeneration procedures. The rationale for these investigations is to test the hypothesis that HA can serve as a bioabsorbable carrier for other substrates as well as itself actively promote the regeneration of tissue.

Methods: In this paper, we report on the bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties of 3 molecular weight formulations of recombinant HA (low, 141 kD; medium, 757 kD; and high, 1,300 kD) on selected oral and non-oral microorganisms in the planktonic phase. Three concentrations of each HA formulation were screened, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg/ml, using a standard broth culture assay.

Results: Recombinant HA exerted varied bacteriostatic effects on all the bacterial strains tested depending on its molecular weight (MW) and concentration. The high concentrations of the medium MW HA had the greatest bacteriostatic effect, particularly on the Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Prevotella oris, Staphylococcus aureus, and Propionibacterium acnes strains. The 1.0 mg/ml concentration of high MW HA had the greatest overall bacteriostatic effect, inhibiting the growth of all 6 bacterial strains tested. Among the bacterial strains studied, HA was found to have no bactericidal effects, regardless of concentration or molecular weight.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that HA in the MW range of 1,300 kD may prove beneficial in minimizing bacterial contamination of surgical wounds when used in guided tissue regeneration surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects
  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / growth & development
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / drug effects*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / growth & development
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Carriers
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Weight
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / growth & development
  • Prevotella / drug effects
  • Prevotella / growth & development
  • Propionibacterium / drug effects
  • Propionibacterium / growth & development
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects
  • Streptococcus mutans / growth & development


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Drug Carriers
  • Hyaluronic Acid