Plant-derived molecules are excellent alternatives to antibiotics as anti-infective agents owing to their minimal cytotoxicity. Herein, the anti-infective property of the hydroxyflavone baicalin, was investigated against biofilms of the key dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans. Baicalin inhibited sucrose-dependent biofilm formation at a concentration of 500 µg ml-1 without affecting bacterial growth. It significantly inhibited acid production for an extended period of 8 h. Microscopic analysis revealed a 6-fold reduction in the number of adhered cells with baicalin treatment. Transcriptomic analysis of the mid-log phase and biofilm cells showed marked downregulation of the virulence genes required for biofilm formation and acid production. This study sheds significant new light on the potential for baicalin to be developed into an anti-caries agent.
Keywords: Baicalin; biofilm; dental caries; streptococcus mutans; virulence.