In Vitro Activity of Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil Against Dermatophytes and Other Filamentous Fungi

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2002 Aug;50(2):195-9. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkf112.


The in vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil against dermatophytes (n = 106) and filamentous fungi (n = 78) was determined. Tea tree oil MICs for all fungi ranged from 0.004% to 0.25% and minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) ranged from <0.03% to 8.0%. Time-kill experiments with 1-4 x MFC demonstrated that three of the four test organisms were still detected after 8 h of treatment, but not after 24 h. Comparison of the susceptibility to tea tree oil of germinated and non-germinated Aspergillus niger conidia showed germinated conidia to be more susceptible than non-germinated conidia. These data demonstrate that tea tree oil has both inhibitory and fungicidal activity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects*
  • Arthrodermataceae / isolation & purification
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Melaleuca
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Tea Tree Oil