Dental caries remains a serious problem due to its detrimental effects on individual health and quality of life. The bulbs of Myrmecodia pendans (Merr & Perry), native plants of Papua, have been used as natural remedies for tumours, gout, diarrhoea, and fever. In this study, one of the active compounds of M. pendans was isolated, and its biological activity against the formation of Streptococcus mutans ATCC 25175 biofilm was tested.
M. pendans was extracted with ethyl acetate using a Soxhlet apparatus. The extract was then separated, and chromatographic purification provided the isolated compound. The structure of the active compound was then characterized using UV, IR, NMR, and MS spectrometry. The obtained compound was added to S. mutans biofilms to determine the MBIC and MBEC values.
The compound isolated from M. pendans was determined to be a labdane diterpene derivative with the formula C31H50O3. The MBIC value of the terpenoid towards the S. mutans biofilms was 50 ppm, and the MBEC value for the 1 min induction time was 40%.
The terpenoid extracted from M. pendans has the potential to be developed into an antibacterial agent particularly for preventing the formation of biofilms.