Essential oils from Origanum vulgare and Salvia officinalis exhibit antibacterial and anti-biofilm activities against Streptococcus pyogenes

Microb Pathog. 2018 Apr;117:118-127. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2018.02.026. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


In the present study, essential oils (EOs) extracted from oregano, sage, cloves, and ginger were evaluated for the phytochemical profile, antibacterial, and anti-biofilm activities against Streptococcus pyogenes. The broth microdilution method was used to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) of EOs. The minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) were determined using MTT assay and fixed biofilms were observed through scan electron microscopy. The oregano and sage EOs showed the lowest MIC as well as MBC of 0.25-0.5 mg/mL. Time kill assay results showed that oregano and sage EOs exhibited bactericidal effects within 5 min and 4 h, respectively. Both oregano and sage extracts acts as a potent anti-biofilm agent with dual actions, preventing and eradicating the biofilm. The microscopic visualization of biofilms treated with EOs have shown morphological and density changes compared to the untreated control. Oregano EO was constituted predominantly carvacrol (91.6%) and in sage EO, higher levels of α-thujone (28.5%) and camphor (16.6%) were revealed. EOs of oregano and sage inhibit the growth and biofilm formation of S. pyogenes. Effective concentrations of oregano and sage EOs and their phytochemicals can be used in developing potential plant-derived antimicrobial agents in the management of streptococcal pharyngitis.

Keywords: Anti-infective agents; Bactericidal; Biofilm; Herbs; Phytochemicals; Streptococcal pharyngitis.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Camphor
  • Cymenes
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Origanum / chemistry*
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Salvia officinalis / chemistry*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / drug effects*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / growth & development


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Cymenes
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Camphor
  • beta-thujone
  • carvacrol