Publications

Publications serve as the concrete art form for the scientist. It is his modus operandi. Authorship is akin to success and achievement. It cannot and should not deteriorate into a bargaining tool or commodity. Dardik
Sandasi, M., Leonard, C.M., van Vuuren, S.F., Viljoen, A.M. 2011. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) inhibits microbial biofilms in vitro. South African Journal of Botany 77: 80-85.

Microbial biofilms have become increasingly problematic in the food processing and medical industries where they cause food and surface contamination. Biofilms have also been implicated as the cause of serious infections in humans as their occurrence makes it difficult to treat common infections and the likelihood of recurrent infections is high. Due to emerging resistance, conventional control methods are fast becoming ineffective. In this study, the use of a selection of commercial plant extracts is investigated. The inhibitory effects of eight herbal extracts on the development of microbial biofilms was investigated against clinical and reference strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candidas albicans. The antimicrobial activity was investigated on the planktonic forms using the minimum inhibitory concentration assay. The extracts that showed the highest antimicrobial activity against the two test organisms were Echinacea angustifolia (cone flower), Mentha piperita (peppermint) and Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) with minimum inhibitory concentration values between 0.38 – 2.5 mg/ml. The crystal violet assay was used to assess the effect of pre-treating a surface with plant extracts on cell attachment and the extent of biofilm development following exposure to extracts (biofilm biomass). Most of the extracts reduced microbial colonization by at least 50%. In contrast, preformed biofilms were less responsive to the majority of extracts, thus growth inhibition was more difficult to achieve. Mentha piperita was the only extract that showed some antibiofilm activity against both pathogens.



Mentha longifolia | Lamiaceae | wild mint | flowers | inflorescence | botanical - Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa [2008 © alvaroviljoen.com]