Determination of chemical compositions and antibacterial effects of selected essential oils against human pathogenic strains

An Acad Bras Cienc. 2022 Mar 11;94(1):e20210074. doi: 10.1590/0001-3765202220210074. eCollection 2022.


Increasing the rates of drug resistant bacteria, having adverse effects and also high costs of antibiotics lead to essential oils (EOs) with antibacterial properties have gained importance. The present study was predicted to evaluate antibacterial activity of cinnamon, lavender, tea tree, lemon, coconut, oregano, mint, laurel and eucalyptus EOs alone and in combination. Chemical components of effective EOs were examined through gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) assays were used to identify antibacterial effects of EOs against bacterial strains. The Fractional Inhibitory Concentration index (FICI) of the binary combinations of EOs was determined by checkerboard method. Carvacrol, linalool, linalyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, cinnamaldehyde, terpinen-4-ol and p-cymene were found main components of EOs. Oregano, cinnamon and tea tree EOs exhibited the strongest antibacterial activity with the MIC range between 0.03125-1.00% (v/v). Tea tree/lavender and cinnamon/lavender mixtures showed a synergistic effect against Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus agalactiae. Oregano with tea tree and laurel exhibited a synergistic effect against Staphylococcus aureus. Oregano showed a synergistic effect when combined with cinnamon, lavender and tea tree against S.agalactiae. Our findings indicated that EOs either alone or in combination against pathogens should be preferred as potential antibacterial agents.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile* / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile* / pharmacology
  • Origanum* / chemistry
  • Staphylococcus aureus


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile