Aims: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the antistaphylococcal effect and elucidate the mechanism of action of orange essential oil against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains.
Methods and results: The inhibitory effect of commercial orange essential oil (EO) against six Staph. aureus strains was tested using disc diffusion and agar dilution methods. The mechanism of EO action on MRSA was analysed by transcriptional profiling. Morphological changes of EO-treated Staph. aureus were examined using transmission electron microscopy. Results showed that 0·1% of terpeneless cold-pressed Valencia orange oil (CPV) induced the cell wall stress stimulon consistent with the inhibition of cell wall synthesis. Transmission electron microscopic observation revealed cell lysis and suggested a cell wall lysis-related mechanism of CPV.
Conclusions: CPV inhibits the growth of Staph. aureus, causes gene expression changes consistent with the inhibition of cell wall synthesis, and triggers cell lysis.
Significance and impact of the study: Multiple antibiotics resistance is becoming a serious problem in the management of Staph. aureus infections. In this study, the altered expression of cell wall-associated genes and subsequent cell lysis in MRSA caused by CPV suggest that it may be a potential antimicrobial agent to control antibiotic-resistant Staph. aureus.
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.