The anti‐biofilm activity of lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oils against five strains of Staphylococcus aureus

Emmanuel Adukwu, Stuart C H Allen, Carol A Phillips

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims
To determine the sensitivity of five strains of Staphylococcus aureus to five essential oils (EOs) and to investigate the anti‐biofilm activity of lemongrass and grapefruit EOs.

Methods and Results
Antimicrobial susceptibility screening was carried out using the disk diffusion method. All of the strains tested were susceptible to lemongrass, grapefruit, bergamot and lime EOs with zones of inhibition varying from 2·85 to 8·60 cm although they were resistant to lemon EO. Lemongrass EO inhibited biofilm formation at 0·125% (v/v) as measured by colorimetric assay and at 0·25% (v/v) no metabolic activity was observed as determined by 2,3‐bis(2‐methoxy‐4‐nitro‐5‐sulfophenyl)‐2H‐tetrazolium‐5‐carboxanilide (XTT) reduction. Grapefruit EO did not show any anti‐biofilm activity. Following exposure to lemongrass EO extensive disruption to Staph. aureus biofilms was shown under scanning electron microscopy.

Conclusions
In comparison to the other EOs tested, lemongrass exhibited the most effective antimicrobial and anti‐biofilm activity.

Significance and Impact of the Study
The effect of lemongrass EO highlights its potential against antibiotic resistant Staph. aureus in the healthcare environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1227
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Volume113
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

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