Properties and limits of some essential oils: chemical characterisation, antimicrobial activity, interaction with antibiotics and cytotoxicity

Because of the emergence of multi-drug resistance bacteria and fungi, alternatives to conventional antimicrobial therapy are needed. This study aims to evaluate in vitro the antimicrobial activity of: Mirtus communis, Coriandrum sativum, Pelargonium capitatum, Cuminum cyminum, Ocimum basilicum, Citrus aurantium amara, Cymbopogon. winterianus, Cymbopogon martini, Salvia sclarea, Melaleuca alternifolia and Mentha suaveolens essential oils on bacteria and fungi, in relation to their chemical composition. The potential interaction of M. alternifolia (TTO), C. sativum (CDO) and M. suaveolens (EOMS) essential oils when used in combination with gentamicin and fluconazole has been evaluated. The results obtained showed a synergic effect on some bacteria and fungi, with FICI values ≤5. The cytotoxicity of TTO, CDO and EOMS was investigated towards HeLa cells. Only EOMS did not result cytotoxic at the active concentrations on micro-organisms. Further studies are necessary to obtain optimal ratios and dosing regimens for higher therapeutic efficacy and to decrease toxicological profiles.