Efficacy of antibiotics to strains of periodontopathogenic bacteria within a single species biofilm - an in vitro study

J Clin Periodontol. 2004 May;31(5):376-83. doi: 10.1111/j.0303-6979.2004.00490.x.


Objectives: This study examined differences in the efficacy of antibiotics against a single strain of three periodontal pathogens grown in an artificial biofilm.

Methods: Single species biofilms were established with artificial saliva and one of the following bacterial strains: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Y4, Streptococcus constellatus 384b (a clinical isolate) and Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC 33277. The efficacy of the antibiotics clindamycin, doxycycline, metronidazole, and moxifloxacin to these bacteria was determined using concentrations up to 100-fold minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) to planctonic bacteria over 48 h.

Results: The ability of the bacteria to form a biofilm varied. The biofilms of S. constellatus 384b and A. actinomycetemcomitans Y4 contained more viable bacteria and showed a larger thickness in SEM photographs than those of P. gingivalis ATCC 33277. The antibiotics tested showed different efficacy for the different strains. Moxifloxacin was the most efficient antibiotic: onefold MIC was sufficient to eliminate A. actinomycetemcomitans Y4 and P. gingivalis ATCC 33277 after 48 h. However, only the 50-fold MIC completely eradicated S. constellatus 384b. SEM photographs underlined the damaging effect of moxifloxacin on the biofilm structure.

Conclusion: The complete removal of bacteria by the use of antibiotics alone seems to be impossible when taking into account MIC values and the level of antibiotics in gingival fluid.

MeSH terms

  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans / drug effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Aza Compounds / pharmacology
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Clindamycin / pharmacology
  • Doxycycline / pharmacology
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Humans
  • Metronidazole / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects*
  • Quinolines / pharmacology
  • Saliva, Artificial
  • Streptococcus constellatus / drug effects*
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Aza Compounds
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Quinolines
  • Saliva, Artificial
  • Metronidazole
  • Clindamycin
  • Doxycycline
  • Moxifloxacin