Wound Pathogens: Investigating Antimicrobial Activity of Commercial Essential Oil Combinations against Reference Strains

Chem Biodivers. 2018 Dec;15(12):e1800405. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201800405. Epub 2018 Dec 17.


This study aimed to determine the antimicrobial activity of 247 essential oil combinations against the reference strains of wound pathogens. Essential oil combinations were investigated for antimicrobial activity against five pathogens. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay was used and the fractional inhibitory concentration index (ΣFIC) calculated to determine interactions between selected oils. Twenty-six combinations displayed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against all five reference strains and several displayed synergy against more than one pathogen. The combination of Santalum austrocaledonicum (sandalwood) with Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity against all five reference strains and synergy against four (MIC values 0.03-1.00 mg/ml and ΣFIC values 0.19-1.00 mg/ml) pathogens. No antagonism was observed. Santalum spp. and Vetiveria zizanioides essential oils contributed the most to antimicrobial activity in combination. Essential oil combinations are presented as a viable option in wound therapy.

Keywords: antibacterial activity; aromatherapy; biological activity; infections; skin; wounds.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Chrysopogon / chemistry
  • Chrysopogon / metabolism
  • Commiphora / chemistry
  • Commiphora / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Drug Synergism
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Santalum / chemistry
  • Santalum / metabolism
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Oils, Volatile