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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 471580, 5 pages
Research Article

Antimicrobial Effect of Lippia sidoides and Thymol on Enterococcus faecalis Biofilm of the Bacterium Isolated from Root Canals

1Laboratory of Natural Products Research (LPPN), Regional University of Cariri, Crato, CE, Brazil
2Northeast Biotechnology Network, Brazil
3Laboratory of Pharmacology and Molecular Chemistry (LFQM), Regional University of Cariri, Crato, CE, Brazil
4Laboratory of Microbiology and Molecular Biology (LMBM), Department of Biological Chemistry, Regional University of Cariri, Cel. Antonio Luis Street, 1161 Pimenta, 63105-000 Crato, CE, Brazil

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 11 November 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editors: A. I. Vela and J. Yoon

Copyright © 2014 H. N. H. Veras 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.


The species Lippia sidoides Cham. (Verbenaceae) is utilized in popular medicine as a local antiseptic on the skin and mucosal tissues. Enterococcus faecalis is the bacterium isolated from root canals of teeth with persistent periapical lesions and has the ability to form biofilm, where it is responsible for the failure of endodontic treatments. Essential oil of L. sidoides (EOLS) and its major component, thymol, were evaluated for reducing the CFU in biofilms of E. faecalis in vitro. The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and examined with respect to the chemical composition, by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The GC-MS analysis has led to the identification of thymol (84.9%) and p-cymene (5.33%). EOLS and thymol reduced CFU in biofilms of E. faecalis in vitro (time of maturation, 72 h), with an exposure time of 30 and 60 min at concentrations of 2.5 and 10%. There was no statistical difference in effect between EOLS and thymol, demonstrating that this phenolic monoterpene was the possible compound responsible for the antimicrobial activity of EOLS. This study provides a basis for the possible utilization of EOLS as an adjuvant in the treatment of root canals that show colonization by E. faecalis.