Antibiotics are becoming ineffective against resistant bacteria. The use of essential oils (EOs) may constitute an alternative solution to fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria. This study aims to determine the chemical composition of EOs from five populations of the endemic Algerian Origanum glandulosum Desf. and to investigate their potential antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant uropathogenic E. coli strains. The EOs were obtained by hydrodistillation and their composition was investigated by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The antibacterial activity was evaluated by the disc diffusion method against eight E. coli strains (six uropathogenic resistant and two referenced susceptible strains). Minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MIC/MBC) were obtained by the broth microdilution method. The main EO components were thymol (15.2-56.4%), carvacrol (2.8-59.6%), γ-terpinene (9.9-21.8%) and p-cymene (8.5-13.9%). The antibacterial tests showed that all the EOs were active against all the strains, including the multidrug-resistant strains. The EO from the Bordj location, which contained the highest amount of carvacrol (59.6%), showed the highest antibacterial activity (inhibition diameters from 12 to 24.5 mm at a dilution of 1/10). To our knowledge, this is the first description of the activity of O. glandulosum EOs against resistant uropathogenic strains. Our study suggests that O. glandulosum EO could be used in some clinical situations to treat or prevent infections (e.g., urinary tract infections) with multidrug-resistant strains.
Keywords: GC-MS; Origanum glandulosum Desf.; antibacterial activity; essential oil; multidrug-resistant E. coli.