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Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Pecuarias

Print version ISSN 0120-0690
On-line version ISSN 2256-2958


ROLDAN, Lina P; DIAZ, Gonzalo J  and  DURINGER, Jennifer M. Composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils obtained from plants of the Lamiaceae family against pathogenic and beneficial bacteria. Rev Colom Cienc Pecua [online]. 2010, vol.23, n.4, pp.451-461. ISSN 0120-0690.

The qualitative composition and antibacterial activity of six essential oils obtained from plants cultivated in the Colombian Andes (Mentha spicata, Mentha piperita, Ocimum basilicum, Salvia officinalis, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris) and a commercial essential oil of Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum were investigated. The essential oil composition was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), while the antibacterial activity of the essential oils against Escherichia coli, Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium breve was measured as the minimum bacte icidal concentration (MBC) using the agar dilution method. The chemical analysis revealed the presence of 16-28 compounds in each oil, corresponding mainly to phenols, oxygenated and hydrocarbon monoterpenes. O. vulgare and T. vulgaris oils were active at low MBCs (MBC ≤ 5 mg/ml) against all bacteria evaluated, including beneficial microorganisms. In contrast, O. basilicum oil was more active against pathogenic bacteria (MBCs ≤ 10mg/ml) than beneficial bacteria (MBCs of 80 mg/ml). The present study shows that the antimicrobial potential of essential oils depends not only on the chemical composition of the oil but also on the targeted microorganism. This has important practical implications for essential oils intended to be used as feed additives with antibacterial properties for animal nutrition or pharmaceutical products with natural compounds.

Keywords : antibacterial activity; essential oils; Lamiaceae family.

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