This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of a range of transient and commensal skin flora to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree.
Methods: A modified broth microdilution method was used. Polyoxyethylene sorbitan mono-oleate detergent was added to the test medium to enhance solubility of the tea tree oil.
Results: Serratia marcescens had the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC90) of 0.25%. The highest MIC90 was 3% for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The lowest minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC90) was 0.25% for S. marcescens and Klebsiella pneumoniae, whereas the highest was 8% for Staphylococcus capitis.
Conclusions: S. aureus and most of the gram-negative bacteria tested were more susceptible to tea tree oil than the coagulase-negative staphylocci and micrococci. These results suggest that tea tree oil may be useful in removing transient skin flora while suppressing but maintaining resident flora.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Australian tea tree oil.Aust J Pharm. 1988; 69: 276-278
- Antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia.Lett Appl Microbiol. 1993; 16: 49-55
- Cajeput-type oil for the treatment of furunculosis.J Natl Med Assoc. 1960; 52: 32-34
- Tea tree oil and anaerobic (bacterial) vaginosis.Lancet. 1990; 337 ([Letter]): 300
- Melaleuca alternifolia oil: its use for trichomonal vaginitis and other vaginal infections.Obstet Gynecol. 1962; 19: 793-795
- 5th ed. Manual of clinical microbiology. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C1991
- A comparative study of tea tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne.Med J Aust. 1990; 153: 455-458
- Comparison of two topical preparations for the treatment of onychomycosis: Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and clotrimazole.J Fam Pract. 1994; 38: 601-605
- Broth micro-dilution method for determining the susceptibility of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil).Microbios. 1995; 82: 181-185
- Susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia.J Antimicrob Chemother. 1995; 35: 421-424
- Bacteriostatic activity of some Australian essential oils.Perfum Flavorist. 1979; 4: 23-25
- The antimicrobial effects of an essential oil on selected oral pathogens.Periodontol. 1987; 8: 11-15
- Toxicity of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree oil.J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1995; 33: 193-194
☆supported by a research grant from the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (UWA-24A).
© 1996 Published by Elsevier Inc.