1998 William J. Stickel Bronze Award. Antifungal activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree) oil against various pathogenic organisms

JM ConchaDepartment of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington Hospital, DE, USA.

Search for other papers by JM Concha in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
LS MooreDepartment of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington Hospital, DE, USA.

Search for other papers by LS Moore in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
WJ HollowayDepartment of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington Hospital, DE, USA.

Search for other papers by WJ Holloway in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Tea-tree oil (oil of Melaleuca alternifolia) has recently received much attention as a natural remedy for bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and mucosa. As with most naturally occurring agents, claims of effectiveness have been only anecdotal; however, several published studies have recently demonstrated tea-tree oil's antibacterial activity. This study was conducted to determine the activity of tea-tree oil against 58 clinical isolates: Candida albicans (n = 10), Trichophyton rubrum (n = 8), Trichophyton mentagrophytes (n = 9), Trichophyton tonsurans (n = 10), Aspergillus niger (n = 9), Penicillium species (n = 9), Epidermophyton floccosum (n = 2), and Microsporum gypsum (n = 1). Tea-tree oil showed inhibitory activity against all isolates tested except one strain of E floccosum. These in vitro results suggest that tea-tree oil may be useful in the treatment of yeast and fungal mucosal and skin infections.