Streptococcus mutans is the main etiologic agent of the dental caries. The synthesis of lactic acid, the acid tolerance and the formation of dental biofilm by glucosiltransferases enzymes and glucan binding proteins, are virulence factors of this microorganism involved in the process of development of the dental caries. The search for new antimicrobial natural agents capable to inhibit such mechanisms of virulence or to control the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, may represent an important strategy for prevention and treatment of this infection. Recent studies had shown that natural products of sea origin (mainly proceeding from marine invertebrates and microorganisms) possess significant antimicrobial activity against antibiotics resistant pathogenic microorganisms.The objective of this study will be analyze the antimicrobial activity of extracts or purified fractions obtained from marine invertebrates and microorganisms on several oral streptococci strains of medical and dental importance and S. mutans isolates. Additionally, the study will evaluate the activities of extract and/or purified fractions on virulence factors of S. mutans (acid production, acid tolerance and biofilm formation). The results will be able to select new natural substances with anticariogenic / cariostatic potential.
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