Effect of commonly prescribed liquid medications on streptococcus mutans biofilm. An in vitro study

Samantha A. Clark, Laquia A. Vinson, George Eckert, Richard L. Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objective: This study addressed the effect of pediatric liquid antibiotic medications on Streptococcus mutans UA159. These suspensions commonly contain sugars such as sucrose to make them more palatable for children. The study was designed to evaluate the effects of oral liquid antibiotics on Streptococcus mutans growth and biofilm formation. Study Design: A 24 hour culture of S. mutans was treated with various concentrations of liquid medications commonly prescribed to children for odontogenic or fungal infections-amoxicillin, penicillin VK, clindamycin, and nystatin. The study was conducted in sterile 96-well flat bottom microtiter plates. The minimum inhibitory and biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MIC/MBIC) of S. mutans were determined for each medication. S. mutans was cultured with and without the test drugs, the amount of total growth measured, the biofilms washed, fixed, and stained with crystal violet. The absorbance was determined to evaluate biofilm formation. Results: Higher concentrations of amoxicillin, penicillin VK and clindamycin had decreased biofilm and overall growth than the control. The MICs were 1:2,560 (1.95 ug/ml), 1:2,560 (1.95 ug/ml) and 1:40 (9.375 ug/ml), while the MBIC were 1:640 (7.8 ug/ml), 1:1,280 (3.9 ug/ml) and 1:20 (18.75 ug/ml), respectively. Lower concentrations provided increased biofilm and overall growth. Nystatin induced significantly more biofilm and overall growth than the control at all concentrations. Conclusion: At high concentrations, approximately at the levels expected to be present in the oral cavity of children, amoxicillin, penicillin, and clindamycin inhibited S. mutans biofilm and overall growth due to their antibiotic activity, while at lower concentrations the three antibiotics demonstrated an increase in biofilm and growth. The increase in S. mutans biofilm and overall growth is most likely attributed to the sugar content in the medications. Nystatin provided an increase in biofilm and growth at each concentration tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • Biofilm
  • Early childhood caries (ECC)
  • Pediatric medications
  • S. mutans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dentistry(all)

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