Identification of essential oils with strong activity against stationary phase Mycobacterium abscessus

Heliyon. 2024 Feb 24;10(5):e27073. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e27073. eCollection 2024 Mar 15.


Purpose: To identify essential oils (EOs) active against non-growing stationary phase Mycobacterium abscessus and multidrug-resistant M. abscessus strains.

Methods: The activity of EOs against both stationary and log phase M. abscessus was evaluated by colony forming unit (CFU) assay and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing.

Results: We assessed the activity of 80 EOs against stationary phase M. abscessus and found 12 EOs (Cinnamon, Satureja montana, Palmarosa, Lemon eucalyptus, Honey myrtle, Combava, Health shield, Mandarin, Thyme, Rosewood, Valerian Root and Basil) at 0.5% concentration to be active against both growing and non-growing stationary phase M. abscessus. Among them, Satureja montana essential oil and Palmarosa essential oil could eliminate all stationary phase M. abscessus at 0.125% and Cinnamon essential oil could eliminate stationary phase bacteria at 0.063% after 1-day treatment. Interestingly, these EOs also exhibited promising activity against multidrug-resistant M. abscessus clinical strains.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that some EOs display outstanding effectiveness against both drug susceptible M. abscessus and multidrug-resistant M. abscessus isolates. These findings may be significant for the treatment of persistent M. abscessus infections.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Essential oils; Mycobacterium abscessus; Persisters; Stationary phase.