A review of natural products with anti-biofilm activity

Xun Song, Yi Xuan Xia, Zhen Dan He*, Hongjie Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Biofilm is a microbial community of microbes that attach to a surface and are enclosed in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Formation of these sessile communities and their inherent resistance to antimicrobial agents are the main reasons for many persistent and chronic infections. Chemotherapy of these infections is unsatisfactory for various reasons including unacceptable toxicity, poor efficacy and drug resistance. In this connection, the last few decades have witnessed wide investigations, which have been geared to investigate the anti-biofilm effects of natural products, including medicinal plant extracts and phytochemicals.

Objective: This paper gives a review on the plant extracts and phytochemicals with antibiofilm capability, which hopefully provides useful information and guidance for future antimicrobial study.

Method: This review is to summarize the natural products, including various phytochemicals, decoctions, plant fractions and extracts that have shown anti-biofilm activity. Literatures were collected from published articles that reported in vitro or in vivo anti-biofilm activity of natural products.

Results: A total of 95 related references were found. The phytochemicals, fractions and extracts are grouped by their general classes or by their putative active components. More than 90 bioactive anti-biofilm compounds have been identified from different parts of the plants. The inhibitory concentration of the natural products was also included, and some of them were investigated for their possible anti-biofilm mechanism.

Conclusion: This review has demonstrated solid evidences that plants are an excellent source to provide abundant natural compounds for the development of preventative and therapeutic agents against biofilm-based infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-817
Number of pages29
JournalCurrent Organic Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-biofilm
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bacteria
  • Biofilm formation
  • Fungi
  • Plant natural products


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