Antimicrobial Activity and Chemical Analysis of the Essential Oil of Algerian Juniperus phoenicea

Nat Prod Commun. 2016 Apr;11(4):519-22.


The essential oils of Juniperus phoenicea L. from Algeria were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. Concerning their chemical composition, 74, 61 and 72 volatile compounds were identified from fresh leaves, dried leaves and berries, representing 88.8%, 91.3% and 94.7% of the total composition, respectively. The main monoterpene in the oils of fresh leaves, dried leaves and berries was a-pinene (29.6% / 55.9% / 56.6%), accompanied by lesser amounts of the sesquiterpenes β-caryophyllene (2.6% / 1.6% /1.2%) and germacrene D (2.01% / 1.7% / 1.5%), respectively. Antibacterial activity of J. phoenicea essential oils was tested against one Gram-negative and four Gram-positive bacterial strains and the yeast Candida albicans, responsible for nosocomial infections. As references, 14 antibiotics and 5 antifungal agents were evaluated. The berry essential oil was ineffective against all but two of the strains tested, whereas the essential oil of dried leaves significantly inhibited all strains but Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which turned out to be the most resistant strain overall. However, Escherichia coli was the most susceptible to the essential oils tested. The essential oil of dry leaves was highly active against Candida albicans, outclassing even the standard antifungal substances. These promising results could substantiate the use of essential oils in the treatment of hospital-acquired infections.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / analysis*
  • Juniperus / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oils, Volatile