Antibacterial effect of tea-tree oil on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation of the tympanostomy tube: an in vitro study

In Vivo. 2007 Nov-Dec;21(6):1027-30.


The antibacterial effects of tea-tree oil against the formation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) biofilm on the surface of the tympanostomy tubes was evaluated.

Materials and methods: Silicone tympanostomy tubes were pretreated with normal saline for 12 hours, the control group (n=4), with 100% tea-tree oil, experimental group A (n=3), or with 50% tea-tree oil, experimental group B (n=3). All the tubes were incubated in a MRSA solution for 2 days and then processed for evaluation using scanning electron microscopy.

Results: The development of the biofilm mode of growth of MRSA was observed in the saline-treated control group. In contrast, only focal biofilms were present on the tube surface in experimental group A and considerable reduction of biofilm with destruction of the MRSA cells was shown in experimental group B.

Conclusion: From these results, the antimicrobial effect of tea-tree oil against biofilm formation on tympanostomy tubes in vitro has been verified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms*
  • Equipment and Supplies / microbiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Middle Ear Ventilation / instrumentation*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Tea Tree Oil