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Phytomedicine. 2010 Nov;17(13):1061-6. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.06.018. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Synergistic properties of the terpenoids aromadendrene and 1,8-cineole from the essential oil of Eucalyptus globulus against antibiotic-susceptible and antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

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Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the chemical composition of the essential oil of the fruits of Eucalyptus globulus and to examine the potential application of the fruit oil against multidrug-resistant bacteria. GLC/MS analysis in the fruit oil showed that aromadendrene was the main compound followed by 1,8-cineole and globulol. The three most abundant components of the fruit oil were also tested individually against microorganisms. In addition, the synergistic effects of combinations of the major constituents (aromadendrene and 1,8-cineole) of the fruit oil were also investigated. All Gram-positive bacteria were susceptible to the fruit oil with different degrees of susceptibility as determined by microdilution method. The oil exerted a marked inhibition against multidrug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) Enterococcus faecalis. The results indicated that aromadendrene might be responsible for the antimicrobial properties, whereas 1,8-cineole and globulol exhibited low activities. The checkerboard assay demonstrated that combinations of 1,8-cineole and aromadendrene reduce the MIC in most cases in an additive way, whereas the time-kill assay indicates a synergistic effect.

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