The antimicrobial activity of thyme essential oil against multidrug resistant clinical bacterial strains

Microb Drug Resist. 2012 Apr;18(2):137-48. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2011.0080. Epub 2011 Nov 21.


Aim: The aim of this work was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of thyme essential oil against clinical multidrug resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Pseudomonas genus.

Materials: The antibacterial activity of oil was tested against standard strains of bacteria and 120 clinical strains isolated from patients with infections of the oral cavity, abdominal cavity, respiratory and genitourinary tracts, skin, and from the hospital environment.

Methods: Agar diffusion was used to determine the microbial growth inhibition of bacterial growth at various concentrations of oil from Thymus vulgaris. Susceptibility testing to antibiotics was carried out using disk diffusion.

Results: Thyme essential oil strongly inhibited the growth of the clinical strains of bacteria tested.

Conclusions: The use of phytopharmaceuticals based on an investigated essential oil from thyme in the prevention and treatment of various human infections may be reasonable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Enterococcus / drug effects
  • Enterococcus / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia / drug effects
  • Escherichia / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Thymus Plant / chemistry*


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