Faculty Mentor

Colleen Doci

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2020


Biochemistry | Molecular Biology


The emergence of Staphylococcus aureus related illnesses is posing an alarmingly dangerous lifestyle for individuals with compromised immune systems. The increasing resistance of bacterial strains and microorganisms to conventional antibiotics and treatments is a serious problem that has alerted scientists to identify new approaches to prevent their emergence. Essential oils contain properties that are capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria. The combination of antibiotics and essential oils are representing a new development in combating antibiotic resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of essential oils and penicillin in decreasing the viability of S. aureus. The disk diffusion assay was utilized to examine the effects of penicillin and the essential oils, lavender and tea tree oil, individually and in combination. All the treatments decreased S. aureus viability to different extents, by exhibiting moderate zones of inhibition. Penicillin was observed to be more potent than the essential oils. In addition, the efficacy of the combination of penicillin and the essential oils was investigated. Interestingly, the results portrayed the combinations had a lower potency than the sum of the individual treatments. The results demonstrated that the essential oils of lavender and tea tree can be used as potential antibacterial agents against S. aureus infections and penicillin in combination with essential oils has an antagonist effect.


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