In Vitro Susceptibility of Pythium insidiosum to Melaleuca alternifolia, Mentha piperita and Origanum vulgare Essential Oils Combinations

Mycopathologia. 2016 Aug;181(7-8):617-22. doi: 10.1007/s11046-016-0019-2. Epub 2016 May 21.


Pythium insidiosum is the etiologic agent of pythiosis, a severe and emerging disease that affects mammals. Failure of conventional antifungal therapies is partially justified by the absence of ergosterol in the plasma membrane of this oomycete. Despite research advancement, the treatment of pythiosis has not been not fully established. The present study investigated the in vitro susceptibility profile of Brazilian isolates of P. insidiosum (n = 20) against Melaleuca alternifolia, Mentha piperita and Origanum vulgare essential oils, and their combinations. Susceptibility tests were performed according to CLSI M38-A2 protocol, and combinations were evaluated by the microdilution cherkerboard method. All tested essential oils showed antimicrobial activity against P. insidiosum, and the greatest activity of O. vulgare was highlighted. Synergistic and/or indifferent effect was observed for all combinations evaluated, especially the M. piperita and O. vulgare combination, which showed 65 % synergism. This is the first study to report in vitro combinations of essential oils against P. insidiosum indicating the susceptibility of this oomycete to M. alternifolia, M. piperita and O. vulgare essential oils, as well as their combinations.

Keywords: Mint; Oomycete; Oregano; Pythiosis; Sinergism; Tea tree.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Brazil
  • Drug Synergism
  • Melaleuca / chemistry*
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Origanum / chemistry*
  • Pythium / drug effects*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oils, Volatile