Antimicrobial activity of monocaprin: a monoglyceride with potential use as a denture disinfectant

Acta Odontol Scand. 2006 Feb;64(1):21-6. doi: 10.1080/00016350500326245.


Monocaprin is a 1-monoglyceride of capric acid that has antimicrobial activity against enveloped viruses, certain bacteria, and the yeast Candida albicans. Solutions containing monocaprin were formulated and tested in vitro against a number of micro-organisms, including species found in the oral cavity and common pathogenic species. The antimicrobial activity of monocaprin was tested with strains growing on a surface as well as in the planktonic phase. Micro-organisms tested were: Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, Lactobacillus sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Two sets of dilutions were prepared for each test strain; one to be inoculated with the micro-organism growing in the planktonic phase and the other with the same strain growing on a filter paper disk. Control solutions were also prepared to find out if any of the excipients were affecting the microbicidal effect of monocaprin. Test strains growing on the filter paper surface were less sensitive to monocaprin than the same strain growing in its planktonic phase. C. albicans was the micro-organism that was most sensitive to monocaprin, but S. mutans also showed appreciable sensitivity. The indication that monocaprin may have potential as a topical agent against Candida was tested in an open study of denture disinfection in 32 patients attending a geriatric daycare centre. A significant, but short-term, reduction in counts of Candida on the fitting surface of full dentures was observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Disinfectants / pharmacology
  • Dental Disinfectants / therapeutic use
  • Denture Cleansers / pharmacology*
  • Denture Cleansers / therapeutic use
  • Denture, Complete / adverse effects
  • Denture, Complete / microbiology*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Glycerides / pharmacology*
  • Glycerides / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Stomatitis, Denture / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis, Denture / etiology
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Dental Disinfectants
  • Denture Cleansers
  • Glycerides
  • rac-glycerol 1-monodecanoate