Comparative studies on the activity of basil--an essential oil from Ocimum basilicum L.--against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas by using different test methods

J Microbiol Methods. 2003 Jul;54(1):105-10. doi: 10.1016/s0167-7012(03)00012-5.


The essential oil basil is obtained from the aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum L. After gas chromatographic separation, the following components were identified: linalol (54.95%), methylchavikol (11.98%), methylcinnamat (7.24%) and linolen (0.14%). The activity of basil against multidrug resistant clinical isolates from the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas has been studied. For this purpose, standard and modified broth macrodilution methods were used and time kill kinetic of basil was studied. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were reported between 0.0030% and 0.0007% (v/v). These concentrations were compared with the inhibitory concentrations (ICs) and the logs of the bacterial counts reduction both obtained by basil diluted in 1% Tween (Tw) 80, saline test solution (STS) and spiritus vini (Sv) 95 degrees instead in a broth. The data, obtained after application of different methods of investigation and validated with membrane filtration, showed a strong inhibitory effect of basil on the test bacteria. The chosen bacteria are widespread and pose serious therapeutic difficulties because of their high level of resistance. For this reason, the results obtained were considered encouraging.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Ocimum basilicum*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils