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01.12.2019 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 1/2019

Microbial population dynamics under microdoses of the essential oil arborvitae

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies > Ausgabe 1/2019
Rhegan C. McGregor, Kory A. Parker, Jacob M. Hornby, Leigh C. Latta IV
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With the current concern caused by drug resistant microorganisms, alternatives to traditional antimicrobials are increasingly necessary. Historical holistic treatments involving natural approaches are now of interest as a potential alternative. Many essential oils have antimicrobial properties with the ability to modify bacterial and fungal population dynamics in low concentrations.


In this study, bacterial and fungal growth in response to varying concentrations of arborvitae oil was assessed using spectrophotometric methods to obtain estimates of population growth parameters including carrying capacity (K) and intrinsic rate of growth (r). Estimates of these parameters were compared among doses within strains using general linear modeling.


Results suggest the active component of the essential oil arborvitae is likely of hydrophilic nature and demonstrates the ability to influence both K and r during bacterial and fungal growth in a dose-dependent manner. Highly concentrated doses of arborvitae completely kill Escherichia coli and significantly inhibit Staphylococcus aureus, however these same doses have no effect on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Accordingly, microdoses of arborvitae demonstrated the ability to inhibit population growth parameters in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Specifically, K of E. coli, r of Candida auris, and both K and r of Candida albicans were significantly reduced in the presence of microdoses of arborvitae.


Microdoses of essential oils have the ability to inhibit one or both population parameters in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. Some microorganisms appear to be more susceptible to this essential oil arborvitae than other microorganisms. The use of essential oils, such as arborvitae, as novel antimicrobials may prove useful when contending with the current epidemic of multidrug resistant pathogens.
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