Essential oils, a new horizon in combating bacterial antibiotic resistance

Open Microbiol J. 2014 Feb 7:8:6-14. doi: 10.2174/1874285801408010006. eCollection 2014.


For many years, the battle between humans and the multitudes of infection and disease causing pathogens continues. Emerging at the battlefield as some of the most significant challenges to human health are bacterial resistance and its rapid rise. These have become a major concern in global public health invigorating the need for new antimicrobial compounds. A rational approach to deal with antibiotic resistance problems requires detailed knowledge of the different biological and non-biological factors that affect the rate and extent of resistance development. Combination therapy combining conventional antibiotics and essential oils is currently blooming and represents a potential area for future investigations. This new generation of phytopharmaceuticals may shed light on the development of new pharmacological regimes in combating antibiotic resistance. This review consolidated and described the observed synergistic outcome between essential oils and antibiotics, and highlighted the possibilities of essential oils as the potential resistance modifying agent.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; combination therapy; essential oils; resistance modifying agents..