Tannins possessing bacteriostatic effect impair Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesion and biofilm formation.

PLoS ONE. 2013;8(6):e66257 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0066257


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Danielle S Trentin

Denise B Silva

Matheus W Amaral

Karine R Zimmer

Márcia V Silva

Norberto P Lopes

Raquel B Giordani

Alexandre J Macedo


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Plants produce many compounds that are biologically active, either as part of their normal program of growth and development or in response to pathogen attack or stress. Traditionally, Anadenanthera colubrina, Commiphora leptophloeos and Myracrodruon urundeuva have been used by communities in the Brazilian Caatinga to treat several infectious diseases. The ability to impair bacterial adhesion represents an ideal strategy to combat bacterial pathogenesis, because of its importance in the early stages of the infectious process; thus, the search for anti-adherent compounds in plants is a very promising alternative. This study investigated the ability of stem-bark extracts from these three species to control the growth and prevent biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important opportunistic pathogen that adheres to surfaces and forms protective biofilms. A kinetic study (0-72 h) demonstrated that the growth of extract-treated bacteria was inhibited up to 9 h after incubation, suggesting a bacteriostatic activity. Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy showed both viable and nonviable cells, indicating bacterial membrane damage; crystal violet assay and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that treatment strongly inhibited biofilm formation during 6 and 24 h and that matrix production remained impaired even after growth was restored, at 24 and 48 h of incubation. Herein, we propose that the identified (condensed and hydrolyzable) tannins are able to inhibit biofilm formation via bacteriostatic properties, damaging the bacterial membrane and hindering matrix production. Our findings demonstrate the importance of this abundant class of Natural Products in higher plants against one of the most challenging issues in the hospital setting: biofilm resilience.