Control of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms by the application of single and combined treatments based in plant essential oils.Int J Food Microbiol. 2018 Dec 02; 286:128-138.IJ
Effective and environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional disinfectants are necessary to reduce the pollution and the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial strains in food-related environments. In the present study, treatments based in single and combined applications of plant essential oils (EOs) were evaluated for control Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. EOs of Lippia sidoides, Thymus vulgaris and Pimenta pseudochariophyllus showed a higher efficacy than peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite against S. aureus planktonic cells and 24-h-old biofilms formed on polystyrene and stainless steel under food-related conditions. High concentrations of thymol and chavibetol were detected in these EOs, as well as the presence of other antimicrobial compounds such as carvacrol, eugenol, p-cymene, limonene, α-pinene, α-terpineol, terpinen-4-oil and linalool. L. sidoides oil were particularly effective against S. aureus, but doses higher than 2.75% (v/v) were required to completely eradicate 24-h-old biofilms. Binary combinations of L. sidoides, T. vulgaris and P. pseudochariophyllus allowed decrease significantly doses required to reduce 99.99% the number of biofilm cells. Furthermore, peracetic acid increased its efficacy against S. aureus biofilms by the combined application with these EOs. The most effective treatments against S. aureus biofilms were those combining L. sidoides with T. vulgaris or peracetic acid. Therefore, these EO-based treatments can be considered as an effective and environmentally-friendly alternative to control S. aureus biofilms in food-contact surfaces.