Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors
antimicrodbial resistance, staphylococcus aureus, alternative therapies, essential oils
Antibiotic resistance is a world health crisis which demands research on alternative antimicrobial compounds. Research shows that many plant essential oils and their individual constituents possess antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Here, we assess the likelihood of resistance emerging to Cinnamon Bark oil or Tea Tree oil in Staphylococcus aureus isolates gathered from organic dairy farms in Vermont. Isolates were exposed to sub-lethal levels of the oils over a period of 20 days, and were also exposed to a sub-lethal concentration of Penicillin over a period of 12 days. Isolates exposed to penicillin experienced an increase in their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), but there was no change in the tolerance to essential oils. Additionally, while the proportion of resistant individuals increased after exposure to penicillin, the proportion of resistant individuals decreased after exposure to essential oils in two out of three isolates. These findings support continued effort to integrate essential oils into the fight against drug-resistant bacteria in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and food preservation.
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Schuettner, Heather S., "Plant essential oils do not alter antimicrobial susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus after exposure to sub-lethal concentrations" (2018). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 268.