Context: Eucalyptus globulus Labill (Myrtaceae) is the principal source of eucalyptus oil in the world and has been used as an antiseptic and for relieving symptoms of cough, cold, sore throat, and other infections. The oil, well known as 'eucalyptus oil' commercially, has been produced from the leaves. Biological properties of the essential oil of fruits from E. globulus have not been investigated much.
Objective: The present study was performed to examine the antimicrobial activity of the fruit oil of E. globulus (EGF) and the leaf oils of E. globulus (EGL), E. radiata Sieber ex DC (ERL) and E. citriodora Hook (ECL) against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. Furthermore, this study was attempted to characterize the oils as well as to establish a relationship between the chemical composition and the corresponding antimicrobial properties.
Materials and methods: The chemical composition of the oils was analyzed by GLC-MS. The oils and isolated major components of the oils were tested against MDR bacteria using the broth microdilution method.
Results: EGF exerted the most pronounced activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MIC ~ 250 µg/ml). EGF mainly consisted of aromadendrene (31.17%), whereas ECL had citronellal (90.07%) and citronellol (4.32%) as the major compounds. 1,8-cineole was most abundant in EGL (86.51%) and ERL (82.66%).
Discussion and conclusion: The activity of the oils can be ranked as EGF > ECL > ERL ~ EGL. However, all the oils and the components were hardly active against MDR Gram-negative bacteria. Aromadendrene was found to be the most active, followed by citronellol, citronellal and 1,8-cineole.