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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 365272, 9 pages
Research Article

Effect of Algae and Plant Lectins on Planktonic Growth and Biofilm Formation in Clinically Relevant Bacteria and Yeasts

1Biologically Active Molecules Laboratory (Biomol-Lab), Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza 60440-970, CE, Brazil
2Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IBB), Center of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
3Integrated Laboratory of Biomolecules (LIBS), Department of Pathology and Legal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza 60430-160, CE, Brazil

Received 19 February 2014; Revised 29 April 2014; Accepted 14 May 2014; Published 28 May 2014

Academic Editor: Xiaoling Miao

Copyright © 2014 Mayron Alves Vasconcelos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to evaluate the abilities of plant and algae lectins to inhibit planktonic growth and biofilm formation in bacteria and yeasts. Initially, ten lectins were tested on Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella oxytoca, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and C. tropicalis at concentrations of 31.25 to 250 μg/mL. The lectins from Cratylia floribunda (CFL), Vatairea macrocarpa (VML), Bauhinia bauhinioides (BBL), Bryothamnion seaforthii (BSL), and Hypnea musciformis (HML) showed activities against at least one microorganism. Biofilm formation in the presence of the lectins was also evaluated; after 24 h of incubation with the lectins, the biofilms were analyzed by quantifying the biomass (by crystal violet staining) and by enumerating the viable cells (colony-forming units). The lectins reduced the biofilm biomass and/or the number of viable cells to differing degrees depending on the microorganism tested, demonstrating the different characteristics of the lectins. These findings indicate that the lectins tested in this study may be natural alternative antimicrobial agents; however, further studies are required to better elucidate the functional use of these proteins.