The antifungal activity of essential oil from Melaleuca leucadendra (L.) L. grown in China and its synergistic effects with conventional antibiotics against Candida

Nat Prod Res. 2019 Sep;33(17):2545-2548. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2018.1448979. Epub 2018 Mar 14.


To identify the natural antifungal agents, the antifungal activities of Melaleuca leucadendra (L.) L. essential oil (ML-EO) from Fujian Province of China were assayed. Treatment of ML-EO in combination with the front-line using antibiotics against Candida led to synergistic effects. Electron microscopy analysis on the oil treated C. albicans cells revealed the formation of mesosome-like structures, suggesting well the membrane damage caused by the essential oil. The Griess assay by monitoring NO production in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells indicated the potent anti-inflammatory activity of ML-EO. In comparison with the marked essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia EO, ML-EO had almost the same chemical components. In general, the antifungal activity of ML-EO and its synergistic interactions with conventional antibiotics were able to lead the development of new treatment strategies on Candida infection.

Keywords: antifungi; essential oil; synergistic interaction.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • China
  • Drug Synergism
  • Melaleuca / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile