Antifungal activities of the essential oils in Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. Et Perry and Leptospermum petersonii Bailey and their constituents against various dermatophytes

J Microbiol. 2007 Oct;45(5):460-5.


This study was carried out in order to investigate the potential of using plant oils derived from Leptospermum petersonii Bailey and Syzygium aromaticum L. Merr. Et Perry as natural antifungal agents. The antifungal effects of essential oils at concentrations of 0.05, 0.1, 0.15, and 0.2 mg/ml on the dermatophytes Microsporum canis (KCTC 6591), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (KCTC 6077), Trichophyton rubrum (KCCM 60443), Epidermophyton floccosum (KCCM 11667), and Microsporum gypseum were evaluated using the agar diffusion method. The major constituents of the active fraction against the dermatophytes were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The antifungal activities of S. aromaticum oil (clove oil) against the dermatophytes tested were highest at a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml, with an effectiveness of more than 60%. Hyphal growth was completely inhibited in T. mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, and M. gypseum by treatment with clove oil at a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml. Eugenol was the most effective antifungal constituent of clove oil against the dermatophytes T. mentagrophytes and M. canis. Morphological changes in the hyphae of T. mentagrophytes, such as damage to the cell wall and cell membrane and the expansion of the endoplasmic reticulum, after treatment with 0.11 mg/ml eugenol were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). At a concentration of 0.2 mg/ml, L. petersonii oil (LPO) was more than 90% effective against all of the dermatophytes tested, with the exception of T. rubrum. Geranial was determined to be the most active antifungal constituent of L. petersonii oil. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrate that clove and tea tree oils exhibited significant antifungal activities against the dermatophytes tested in this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Fungi / drug effects*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Leptospermum / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Syzygium / chemistry*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils