Special Issue "Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils"

A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant-Derived Antibiotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carla Sabia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Via G. Campi 287,41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: Microbiology;Multidrug resistance;Essential oils;Bacterial biofilm;Bacteriocin and Probiotics
Dr. Ramona Iseppi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia/ Via G. Campi, 287, 41100 Modena, Italy
Interests: Bac + LAB-bacteriocin producers lactic acid bacteria; biopreservatives (LAB, bacteriocins, chitosan, essential oils) on food matrices and in food packaging; multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDR) in foods
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Essential oils (EOs) are the most important secondary metabolite of plants’ normal growth. Essential oils are a complex mixture of volatile compounds that can be extracted from different parts of aromatic plants by distillation or hydrodistillation. They are multicomponent products mainly composed of terpenoids, terpenes, and aliphatic and aromatic constituents. Generally, essential oils characterized by a high number of phenolic compounds have important antibacterial and antifungal properties. Their efficacy as antimicrobial agents is related to the activity of several components that can act in synergy with each other and with other antibiotics. Essential oils and their main components have many applications in popular medicine, food and beverage preservation, cosmetics, as well as in the fragrance and pharmaceutical industries. The majority of essential oils have a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation and possess a low risk for developing resistance to pathogenic microorganisms. Considering increased pathogen resistance and a wide range of infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms, investigations into the broad spectrum, mode of action, and potential uses of the antimicrobial activities of essential oils and their components have been given new impetus.

Therefore, this Special Issue focuses on the possible useful antibacterial activities of essential oils to control infections and biofilm formation by drug resistant microorganisms in areas such as human and veterinary medicine and the food industry.

Dr. Carla Sabia
Dr. Ramona Iseppi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Essential oil
  • Antibacterial activity
  • Antibiofilm activity
  • Antibiotic-resistance
  • EOs synergy
  • Food preservation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Essential Oils from Two Apiaceae Species as Potential Agents in Organic Crops Protection
Antibiotics 2021, 10(6), 636; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10060636 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Chemical composition and herbicidal, antifungal, antibacterial and molluscicidal activities of essential oils from Choukzerk, Eryngium triquetrum, and Alexander, Smyrnium olusatrum, from western Algeria were characterized. Capillary GC-FID and GC/MS were used to investigate chemical composition of both essential oils, and the [...] Read more.
Chemical composition and herbicidal, antifungal, antibacterial and molluscicidal activities of essential oils from Choukzerk, Eryngium triquetrum, and Alexander, Smyrnium olusatrum, from western Algeria were characterized. Capillary GC-FID and GC/MS were used to investigate chemical composition of both essential oils, and the antifungal, antibacterial, molluscicidal and herbicidal activities were determined by % inhibition. Collective essential oil of E. triquetrum was dominated by falcarinol (74.8%) and octane (5.6%). The collective essential oil of S. olusatrum was dominated by furanoeremophilone (31.5%), furanodiene+curzurene (19.3%) and (E)-β-caryophyllene (11%). The E. triquetrum oil was tested and a pure falcarinol (99%) showed virtuous herbicidal and antibacterial activities against potato blackleg disease, Pectobacterium atrosepticum, and Gram-negative soil bacterium, Pseudomonas cichorii (85 and 100% inhibition, respectively), and high ecotoxic activity against brine shrimp, Artemia salina, and the freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, with an IC50 of 0.35 µg/mL and 0.61 µg/mL, respectively. Essential oil of S. olusatrum showed interesting antibacterial and ecotoxic activity and good herbicidal activity against watercress seeds, Lepidium sativum (74% inhibition of photosynthesis, 80% mortality on growth test on model watercress), while the furanoeremophilone isolated from the oil (99% pure) showed moderate herbicidal activity. Both oils showed excellent antifungal activity against Fusarium. Both oils and especially falcarinol demonstrated good potential as new biocontrol agents in organic crop protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Antifungal and Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Bupleurum rigidum subsp. paniculatum (Brot.) H.Wolff Essential Oil
Antibiotics 2021, 10(5), 592; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10050592 - 17 May 2021
Viewed by 511
Abstract
Fungal infections remain a major health concern with aromatic plants and their metabolites standing out as promising antifungal agents. The present study aims to assess, for the first time, the antifungal and anti-inflammatory potential of Bupleurum subsp. paniculatum (Brot.) H.Wolff essential oil from [...] Read more.
Fungal infections remain a major health concern with aromatic plants and their metabolites standing out as promising antifungal agents. The present study aims to assess, for the first time, the antifungal and anti-inflammatory potential of Bupleurum subsp. paniculatum (Brot.) H.Wolff essential oil from Portugal. The oil obtained by hydrodistillation and characterized by GC-MS, showed high amounts of monoterpene hydrocarbons, namely α-pinene (29.0–36.0%), β–pinene (26.1–30.7%) and limonene (10.5–13.5%). The antifungal potential was assessed, according to CLSI guidelines, against several clinical and collection strains. The essential oil showed a broad fungicidal effect being more potent against Cryptococcus neoformans and dermatophytes. Moreover, a significant germ tube inhibition was observed in Candida albicans as well as a disruption of mature biofilms, thus pointing out an effect of the oil against relevant virulent factors. Furthermore, fungal ultrastructural modifications were detected through transmission electron microscopy, highlighting the nefarious effect of the oil. Of relevance, the oil also evidenced anti-inflammatory activity through nitric oxide inhibition in macrophages activated with lipopolysaccharide. In addition, the essential oil’s bioactive concentrations did not present toxicity towards macrophages. Overall, the present study confirmed the bioactive potential of B. rigidum subsp. paniculatum essential oil, thus paving the way for the development of effective drugs presenting concomitantly antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Antibacterial Activities of Homemade Matrices Miming Essential Oils Compared to Commercial Ones
Antibiotics 2021, 10(5), 584; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10050584 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
The increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a worldwide concern. Essential oils are known to possess remarkable antibacterial properties, but their high chemical variability complicates their development into new antibacterial agents. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to standardize their chemical [...] Read more.
The increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a worldwide concern. Essential oils are known to possess remarkable antibacterial properties, but their high chemical variability complicates their development into new antibacterial agents. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to standardize their chemical composition. Several commercial essential oils of ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi L.) and thyme (chemotype thymol) (Thymus vulgaris L.) were bought on the market. GC–MS analysis revealed that thyme essential oils have a chemical composition far more consistent than ajowan essential oils. Sometimes thymol was not even the major compound. The most abundant compounds and the homemade mixtures were tested against two Staphylococcus aureus strains. The antibacterial property of β-caryophyllene presented no direct activity against S. aureus LMG 15975, but in association with thymol or carvacrol at equal percentages an MIC of 125 μg/mL was observed. The mixture of those three compounds at equivalent percentages also decreased by 16-fold the MIC of the penicillin V. Against S. aureus LMG 21674, β-caryophyllene presented an MIC of 31.3 μg/mL and decreased by 267-fold the MIC of the penicillin V. These observations led us to question the benefits of using a complex chemical mixture instead of one active compound to fight bacterial resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
Article
Essential Oils: A Natural Weapon against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Responsible for Nosocomial Infections
Antibiotics 2021, 10(4), 417; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10040417 - 10 Apr 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a major concern worldwide. This trend indicates the need for alternative agents to antibiotics, such as natural compounds of plant origin. Using agar disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays, we investigated the antimicrobial activity [...] Read more.
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has become a major concern worldwide. This trend indicates the need for alternative agents to antibiotics, such as natural compounds of plant origin. Using agar disc diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays, we investigated the antimicrobial activity of Citrus aurantium (AEO), Citrus x limon (LEO), Eucalyptus globulus (EEO), Melaleuca alternifolia (TTO), and Cupressus sempervirens (CEO) essential oils (EOs) against three representatives of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and respective biofilms: vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli. Using the checkerboard method, the efficacy of the EOs alone, in an association with each other, or in combination with the reference antibiotics was quantified by calculating fractional inhibitory concentrations (FICs). All the EOs displayed antibacterial activity against all strains to different extents, and TTO was the most effective. The results of the EO–EO associations and EO–antibiotic combinations clearly showed a synergistic outcome in most tests. Lastly, the effectiveness of EOs both alone and in association or combination against biofilm formed by the antibiotic-resistant strains was comparable to, and sometimes better than, that of the reference antibiotics. In conclusion, the combination of EOs and antibiotics represents a promising therapeutic strategy against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, even protected inside biofilms, which can allow decreasing the concentrations of antibiotics used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Comparative Study on the Essential Oils from Five Wild Egyptian Centaurea Species: Effective Extraction Techniques, Antimicrobial Activity and In-Silico Analyses
Antibiotics 2021, 10(3), 252; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10030252 - 03 Mar 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The genus Centaurea is recognized in folk medicine for anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antitussive, purgative, astringent, and tonic activities. To study the chemical determinant for antimicrobial activity essential oils (EOs), five Centaurea species were analyzed including: C. scoparia, C. calcitrapa, C. glomerata, [...] Read more.
The genus Centaurea is recognized in folk medicine for anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, antitussive, purgative, astringent, and tonic activities. To study the chemical determinant for antimicrobial activity essential oils (EOs), five Centaurea species were analyzed including: C. scoparia, C. calcitrapa, C. glomerata, C. lipii and C. alexandrina. Conventional hydro-distillation (HD) and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), as new green technologies, were compared for the extraction of essential oils. GC/MS analysis identified 120 EOs including mostly terpenoid except from C. lipii and C. alexandrina in which nonterpenoids were the major constituents. Major terpenoids included spathulenol, caryophyllene oxide and alloaromadendrene oxide-2. To probe antibacterial activity, potential EO inhibitors of a bacterial type II DNA topoisomerase, DNA gyrase B were screened via an in silico molecular docking approach. Spathulenol and alloaromadendrene oxide-2 possessed the best binding affinity in the ATP- binding pocket of Gyrase B enzyme. Principal component analysis and agglomerative hierarchical clustering were used for sample classification and revealed that sesquiterpenes contributed the most for accessions classification. In vitro antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus niger for all EOs were also evaluated. EOs from C. lipii, C. glomerata and C. calcitrapa exhibited significant MIC against S. aureus with an MIC value of 31.25 µg/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Modeling the Growth and Death of Staphylococcus aureus against Melaleuca armillaris Essential Oil at Different pH Conditions
Antibiotics 2021, 10(2), 222; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10020222 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Essential oils (EO) are a great antimicrobial resource against bacterial resistance in public health. Math models are useful in describing the growth, survival, and inactivation of microorganisms against antimicrobials. We evaluated the antimicrobial activity of Melaleuca armillaris EO obtained from plants placed in [...] Read more.
Essential oils (EO) are a great antimicrobial resource against bacterial resistance in public health. Math models are useful in describing the growth, survival, and inactivation of microorganisms against antimicrobials. We evaluated the antimicrobial activity of Melaleuca armillaris EO obtained from plants placed in the province of Buenos Aires (Argentina) against Staphylococcus aureus. The minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations were close and decreased, slightly acidifying the medium from pH 7.4 to 6.5 and 5.0. This result was also evidenced by applying a sigmoid model, where the time and EO concentration necessaries to achieve 50% of the maximum effect decreased when the medium was acidified. Moreover, at pH 7.4, applying the Gompertz model, we found that subinhibitory concentrations of EO decreased the growth rate and the maximum population density and increased the latency period concerning the control. Additionally, we established physicochemical parameters for quality control and standardization of M. armillaris EO. Mathematical modeling allowed us to estimate key parameters in the behavior of S. aureus and Melaleuca armillaris EO at different pH. This is interesting in situations where the pH changes are relevant, such as the control of intracellular infections in public health or the development of preservatives for the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Effects of Essential Oils from Cymbopogon spp. and Cinnamomum verum on Biofilm and Virulence Properties of Escherichia coli O157:H7
Antibiotics 2021, 10(2), 113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10020113 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
Every year, the pharmaceutical and food industries produce over 1000 tons of essential oils (EOs) exploitable in different fields as the development of eco-friendly and safe antimicrobial inhibitors. In this work we investigated the potential of some EOs, namely Cinnamomum verum, Cymbopogon [...] Read more.
Every year, the pharmaceutical and food industries produce over 1000 tons of essential oils (EOs) exploitable in different fields as the development of eco-friendly and safe antimicrobial inhibitors. In this work we investigated the potential of some EOs, namely Cinnamomum verum, Cymbopogon martini, Cymbopogoncitratus and Cymbopogon flexuosus, on the growth, biofilm formation and gene expression in four strains of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7. All EOs were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The antimicrobial activity was performed by using dilutions of EOs ranging from 0.001 to 1.2% (v/v). Subinhibitory doses were used for biofilm inhibition assay. The expression profiles were obtained by RT-PCR. E. coli O157:H7 virulence was evaluated in vivo in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. All EOs showed minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 0.0075 to 0.3% (v/v). Cinnamomum verum bark EO had the best activity (MIC of 0.0075% (v/v) in all strains) while the C. verum leaf EO had an intermediate efficacy with MIC of 0.175% (v/v) in almost all strains. The Cymbopogon spp. showed the more variable MICs (ranging from 0.075 to 0.3% (v/v)) depending on the strain used. Transcriptional analysis showed that C. martini EO repressed several genes involved in biofilm formation, virulence, zinc homeostasis and encoding some membrane proteins. All EOs affected zinc homeostasis, reducing ykgM and zinT expression, and reduced the ability of E. coli O157:H7 to infect the nematode C. elegans. In conclusion, we demonstrated that these EOs, affecting E. coli O157:H7 infectivity, have a great potential to be used against infections caused by microorganisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Effects of Labrador Tea, Peppermint, and Winter Savory Essential Oils on Fusobacterium nucleatum
Antibiotics 2020, 9(11), 794; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics9110794 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 547
Abstract
Bad breath or halitosis is an oral condition caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) produced by bacteria found in the dental and tongue biofilms. Fusobacterium nucleatum is a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that has been strongly associated with halitosis. In this study, essential oils [...] Read more.
Bad breath or halitosis is an oral condition caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) produced by bacteria found in the dental and tongue biofilms. Fusobacterium nucleatum is a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that has been strongly associated with halitosis. In this study, essential oils (EO) from three plants, Labrador tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum [Oeder] Kron & Judd), peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.), and winter savory (Satureja montana L.), were investigated for their effects on growth, biofilm formation and killing, and VSC production by F. nucleatum. Moreover, their biocompatibility with oral keratinocytes was investigated. Using a broth microdilution assay, winter savory EO and to a lesser extent Labrador tea and peppermint EO showed antibacterial activity against F. nucleatum. A treatment of pre-formed biofilms of F. nucleatum with EO also significantly decreased bacterial viability as determined by a luminescence assay monitoring adenosine triphosphate production. The EO were found to permeabilize the bacterial cell membrane, suggesting that it represents the target of the tested EO. The three EO under investigation were able to dose-dependently reduce VSC production by F. nucleatum. Lastly, no significant loss of cell viability was observed when oral keratinocytes were treated with the EO at concentrations effective against F. nucleatum. This study supports the potential of Labrador tea, peppermint, and winter savory EO as promising agents to control halitosis and promote oral health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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Article
Antiviral Effects of Lindera obtusiloba Leaf Extract on Murine Norovirus-1 (MNV-1), a Human Norovirus Surrogate, and Potential Application to Model Foods
Antibiotics 2020, 9(10), 697; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics9100697 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 854
Abstract
Noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis and food poisoning worldwide. In this study, we investigated the anti-noroviral activity of Lindera obtusiloba leaf extract (LOLE) using murine norovirus (MNV-1), a surrogate of human norovirus. Preincubation of MNV-1 with LOLE at 4, 8, [...] Read more.
Noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis and food poisoning worldwide. In this study, we investigated the anti-noroviral activity of Lindera obtusiloba leaf extract (LOLE) using murine norovirus (MNV-1), a surrogate of human norovirus. Preincubation of MNV-1 with LOLE at 4, 8, or 12 mg/mL for 1 h at 25 °C significantly reduced viral infectivity, by 51.8%, 64.1%, and 71.2%, respectively. Among LOLE single compounds, β-pinene (49.7%), α-phellandrene (26.2%), and (+)-limonene (17.0%) demonstrated significant inhibitory effects on viral infectivity after pretreatment with MNV-1, suggesting that the anti-noroviral effects of LOLE may be due to the synergetic activity of several compounds, with β-pinene as a key molecule. The inhibitory effect of LOLE was tested on the edible surfaces of lettuce, cabbage, and oysters, as well as on stainless steel. After one hour of incubation at 25°C, LOLE (12 mg/mL) pretreatment significantly reduced MNV-1 plaque formation on lettuce (76.4%), cabbage (60.0%), oyster (38.2%), and stainless-steel (62.8%). These results suggest that LOLE effectively inhibits norovirus on food and metal surfaces. In summary, LOLE, including β-pinene, may inactivate norovirus and could be used as a natural agent promoting food safety and hygiene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils)
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