Leakage of K+ Ions From Staphylococcus Aureus in Response to Tea Tree Oil

J Microbiol Methods. 2003 Jun;53(3):309-12. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7012(02)00248-8.


The leakage of K(+) ions from Staphylococcus aureus in response to tea tree oil (TTO) was investigated with an ion-selective electrode. The amount of leaked K(+) ions and the rate of leakage of K(+) ions induced by TTO were dependent on the concentration of TTO. Measurements of initial rates required less time than measurements of total amounts and provided an index of the interaction between TTO and the cell membrane. Thus, the initial rate of leakage might be a more useful measure of the antibacterial activity of TTO than the total amount.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Ion Transport / drug effects
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Potassium