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Open AccessArticle

Antimicrobial Effect of Thymus capitatus and Citrus limon var. pompia as Raw Extracts and Nanovesicles

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Experimental Science, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Institute of Science of Food Production UOS Sassari-CNR, 07040 Sassari, Italy
Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Stem Cell Engineering, National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Dental Unite, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, 07100 Sassari, Italy
Department of Clinical and Translational Medicine, Tor Vergata University of Rome, 00133 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(5), 234;
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 2 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Organizing Nanovectors for Drug Delivery)
In view of the increasing interest in natural antimicrobial molecules, this study screened the ability of Thymus capitatus (TC) essential oil and Citrus limon var. pompia (CLP) extract as raw extracts or incorporated in vesicular nanocarriers against Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. After fingerprint, TC or CLP were mixed with lecithin and water to produce liposomes, or different ratios of water/glycerol or water/propylene glycol (PG) to produce glycerosomes and penetration enhancer vesicles (PEVs), respectively. Neither the raw extracts nor the nanovesicles showed cytotoxicity against human gingival fibroblasts at all the concentrations tested (1, 10, 100 μg/mL). The disc diffusion method, MIC-MBC/MFC, time-kill assay, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) demonstrated the highest antimicrobial potential of TC against S. mutans and C. albicans. The very high presence of the phenol, carvacrol, in TC (90.1%) could explain the lethal effect against the yeast, killing up to 70% of Candida and not just arresting its growth. CLP, rich in polyphenols, acted in a similar way to TC in reducing S. mutans, while the data showed a fungistatic rather than a fungicidal activity. The phospholipid vesicles behaved similarly, suggesting that the transported extract was not the only factor to be considered in the outcomes, but also their components had an important role. Even if other investigations are necessary, TC and CLP incorporated in nanocarriers could be a promising and safe antimicrobial in caries prevention. View Full-Text
Keywords: Oral antimicrobials; caries prevention; natural extracts; nanovesicles Oral antimicrobials; caries prevention; natural extracts; nanovesicles
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pinna, R.; Filigheddu, E.; Juliano, C.; Palmieri, A.; Manconi, M.; D’hallewin, G.; Petretto, G.; Maioli, M.; Caddeo, C.; Manca, M.L.; Solinas, G.; Bortone, A.; Campanella, V.; Milia, E. Antimicrobial Effect of Thymus capitatus and Citrus limon var. pompia as Raw Extracts and Nanovesicles. Pharmaceutics 2019, 11, 234.

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