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J Med Microbiol. 2016 Jul;65(7):688-695. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000286. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Major components of orange oil inhibit Staphylococcus aureus growth and biofilm formation, and alter its virulence factors.

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1​Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, USA.
2​Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742, USA.


Bovine mastitis is a costly disease in the dairy industry and does not always respond to antibiotic treatment. The major components of terpeneless, cold-pressed Valencia orange oil - citral, linalool, decanal and valencene - were examined as potential alternative treatments for Staphylococcus aureus-associated mastitis. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of all four components against S. aureus was determined after incubation for 24 h. Growth inhibition assays were performed for all effective components on S. aureus for either a 3 h or 72 h treatment. These components were tested for the ability to disrupt pre-formed S. aureus biofilms after 24 h of treatment by measuring absorbance at 540 nm. Cytotoxicity against immortalized bovine mammary epithelial (MAC-T) cells was measured using an MTT assay following a 1 h exposure. Only concentrations below the 50 % cytostatic concentration (CC50) were used in an adherence and invasion assay of S. aureus on MAC-T cells, and for measurements of virulence and biofilm gene expression via qPCR. The MICs of citral and linalool were 0.02 % and 0.12 %, respectively, but decanal and valencene were ineffective. Citral and linalool were capable of inhibiting growth of S. aureus after 24 h at their MIC values and inhibited pre-formed biofilms of S. aureus . The concentrations below the CC50 were 0.02 % for citral and 0.12 % for linalool. These concentrations inhibited the adhesion and invasion ability of S. aureus and downregulated virulence genes. Only 0.12 % linalool downregulated the expression of S. aureus biofilm-forming genes. These components should be considered for further in vivo study.

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