The effect of lemongrass oil and its major components on clinical isolate mastitis pathogens and their mechanisms of action on Staphylococcus aureus DMST 4745

Res Vet Sci. 2011 Dec;91(3):e31-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.01.012. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


The aims of this study were to investigate the antibacterial activity of lemongrass oil (LG) and its major components which were citral, geraniol and myrcene, against four strains of clinically isolated bovine mastitis pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli by the broth microdilution method, as well as their activity on S. aureus biofilm formation. Attempts to clarify their mechanisms of action by investigation of the effects on intracellular material leakage and morphological changes of S. aureus DMST 4745 were also made. The results demonstrate that S. agalactiae and B. cereus are more susceptible to LG, citral and geraniol than S. aureus and E. coli. Moreover, they also inhibit S. aureus biofilm formation and exhibit effective killing activities on preformed biofilms. The LG appears to have multiple targets in the bacterial cell, depending on concentration used as well as the amount of its components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Animals
  • Bacillus cereus / drug effects*
  • Biofilms
  • Cattle
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Female
  • Mastitis, Bovine / microbiology*
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / drug effects*
  • Terpenes / chemistry*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Plant Oils
  • Terpenes
  • lemongrass oil
  • geraniol
  • citral