Tea tree oil causes K+ leakage and inhibits respiration in Escherichia coli

Lett Appl Microbiol. 1998 May;26(5):355-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.1998.00348.x.


Concentrations of tea tree oil (TTO) which inhibit or decrease growth of Escherichia coli also inhibit glucose-dependent respiration and stimulate the leakage of intracellular K+. Stationary phase cells are more tolerant to these TTO effects than exponential phase cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Potassium / metabolism*
  • Tea Tree Oil


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Potassium