Antibacterial activities of essential oils from eight Greek aromatic plants against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus.Anaerobe. 2011 Dec; 17(6):399-402.A
Aromatic plants have been used widely to extend the shelf life of foods but at the same time research is undergoes for their properties as antibacterial agents in clinical use. Although there are promising results for the antimicrobial properties of various essential oils against environmental or food-isolated strains of Staphylococcus aureus, limited work has been done concerning these properties against clinical isolates of this pathogen. S. aureus is responsible for an increase number of nosocomial infections and at the same time exhibits increased resistance to synthetic agents. In this study, essential oils from eight aromatic plants common in Greece were isolated by hydrodistillation, analyzed by gas chromatography (GC) and GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for their chemical components and tested for their antimicrobial activities against 24 clinical isolates of S. aureus. The methods used were disk diffusion and broth dilution in order to determine the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). Our results showed that essential oils from Origanum vulgare and Origanum dictamnus were active against S. aureus when tested by disk diffusion, but exhibited increased MIC values (>256 mg/L) with the dilution method. In contrast, the reference strain NCTC 6571 showed to be extremely sensitive in most of the oils tested (MICs 0.25-32.0 mg/L) and resistant only to the essential oil from Ocimum basilicum. Therefore, there is no evidence of a potential clinical use for those essential oils and further research is needed in order to determine if they could substitute efficiently synthetic antibiotics or, perhaps be used in combination.