1998 William J. Stickel Bronze Award. Antifungal activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree) oil against various pathogenic organisms

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1998 Oct;88(10):489-92. doi: 10.7547/87507315-88-10-489.


Tea-tree oil (oil of Melaleuca alternifolia) has recently received much attention as a natural remedy for bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and mucosa. As with most naturally occurring agents, claims of effectiveness have been only anecdotal; however, several published studies have recently demonstrated tea-tree oil's antibacterial activity. This study was conducted to determine the activity of tea-tree oil against 58 clinical isolates: Candida albicans (n = 10), Trichophyton rubrum (n = 8), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (n = 9), Trichophyton tonsurans (n = 10), Aspergillus niger (n = 9), Penicillium species (n = 9), Epidermophyton floccosum (n = 2), and Microsporum gypsum (n = 1). Tea-tree oil showed inhibitory activity against all isolates tested except one strain of E floccosum. These in vitro results suggest that tea-tree oil may be useful in the treatment of yeast and fungal mucosal and skin infections.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arthrodermataceae / drug effects
  • Awards and Prizes
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Podiatry / history
  • Trees
  • Trichophyton / drug effects
  • United States


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Oils

Personal name as subject

  • J M Concha
  • L S Moore
  • W J Holloway