• biofilm;
  • epigallocatechin gallate;
  • periodontitis;
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis ;
  • sub-MIC



The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of tea catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) on established biofilms and biofilm formation by Porphyromonas gingivalis, a major pathogen of periodontal disease.

Methods and Results

Biofilm cell survival was measured using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. In the presence of EGCg, the ATP level in cells of established biofilms was significantly decreased compared to the controls (< 0·0001). Transmission electron microscopy revealed that EGCg damaged the cell membrane and cell wall of P. gingivalis. Confocal laser-scanning microscopy revealed that the proportion of dead cells was higher in biofilms treated with EGCg. Moreover, the effects of subminimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of EGCg on P. gingivalis biofilm formation were dose-dependent (< 0·0001).


Our results suggest that EGCg destroys established P. gingivalis biofilms and inhibits biofilm formation.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Development of chemical control agents against oral biofilms is necessary, because oral biofilms can be only removed using mechanical debridement. This article indicates that EGCg may represent a novel antibiofilm agent that prevents infections involving bacterial biofilms such as periodontitis.