Anti-biofilm potential of phenolic acids: the influence of environmental pH and intrinsic physico-chemical properties

Sara Silva, Eduardo M. Costa, Bruno Horta, Conceição Calhau, Rui M. Morais, M. Manuela Pintado*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phenolic acids are a particular group of small phenolic compounds which have exhibited some anti-biofilm activity, although the link between their activity and their intrinsic pH is not clear. Therefore, the present work examined the anti-biofilm activity (inhibition of biomass and metabolic activity) of phenolic acids in relation to the environmental pH, as well as other physico-chemical properties. The results indicate that, while Escherichia coli was not inhibited by the phenolic acids, both methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis were susceptible to the action of all phenolic acids, with the pH playing a relevant role in the activity: a neutral pH favored MRSE inhibition, while acidic conditions favored MRSA inhibition. Some links between molecular polarity and size were associated only with their potential as metabolic inhibitors, with the overall interactions hinting at a membrane-based mechanism for MRSA and a cytoplasmic effect for MRSE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-860
Number of pages8
JournalBiofouling
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Anti-biofilm activity
  • Escherichia coli
  • MRSA
  • MRSE
  • Phenolic acids

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