In vitro efficacy of diallyl sulfides against the periodontopathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans

Kabilan Velliyagounder, Krishnaraj Ganeshnarayan, Senthil Kumar Velusamy, Daniel H. Fine

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35 Scopus citations


The in vitro antibacterial effects of diallyl sulfide (DAS) against the Gram-negative periodontopathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the key etiologic agent of the severe form of localized aggressive periodontitis and other nonoral infections, were studied. A. actinomycetemcomitans was treated with garlic extract, allicin, or DAS, and the anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans effects of the treatment were evaluated. Garlic extract, allicin, and DAS significantly inhibited the growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans (greater than 3 log; P < 0.01) compared to control cells. Heat inactivation of the garlic extracts significantly reduced the protein concentration; however, the antimicrobial effect was retained. Purified proteins from garlic extract did not exhibit antimicrobial activity. Allicin lost all its antimicrobial effect when it was subjected to heat treatment, whereas DAS demonstrated an antimicrobial effect similar to that of the garlic extract, suggesting that the antimicrobial activity of garlic extract is mainly due to DAS. An A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm-killing assay performed with DAS showed a significant reduction in biofilm cell numbers, as evidenced by both confocal microscopy and culture. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of DAS-treated A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilms showed alterations of colony architecture indicating severe stress. Flow cytometry analysis of OBA9 cells did not demonstrate apoptosis or cell cycle arrest at therapeutic concentrations of DAS (0.01 and 0.1μg/ml). DAS-treated A. actinomycetemcomitans cells demonstrated complete inhibition of glutathione (GSH) S-transferase (GST) activity. However, OBA9 cells, when exposed to DAS at similar concentrations, showed no significant differences in GST activity, suggesting that DAS-induced GST inhibition might be involved in A. actinomycetemcomitans cell death. These findings demonstrate that DAS exhibits significant antibacterial activity against A. actinomycetemcomitans and that this property might be utilized for exploring its therapeutic potential in treatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans-associated oral and nonoral infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2397-2407
Number of pages11
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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