In vitro study was conducted to explore antibacterial properties of the larval gut extracts of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Red Palm Weevil) Oliver. Larval gut extracts were tested against salivary bacteria causing dental carries using the agar well diffusion method. The gut extracts significantly affected the growth of both Klebsiella spp. and Streptococcus viridans. The two bacterial species revealed significant differences in their sensitivity to the extract. The extract efficacy depended upon the concentration and time of exposure. When using 100%concentration of the extract, the mean of inhibition zones for S. viridans and Klebsiella spp. at 24 h after treatment were 1.61 mm and 2.50 mm, respectively. At 48 h post-treatment, the mean of inhibition zones for S. viridans and Klebsiella spp. were 1.96 mm and 2.66 mm. After 72 hours, the means zones were 2.28 mm and 2.91 mm, respectively. Electron microscopic examinations showed morphological changes of the outer membrane of bacteria with a noticeable damage as a result of exposure to the gut extract. The results suggest potential use of these extracts against dental caries bacteria.
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Red Palm Weevil, Antimicrobial activity, Streptococcus viridians, Klebsiella spp.
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