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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

ASSESSING THE ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF LEMON AND LEMONGRASS ESSENTIAL OILS AGAINST COMMON MICROBES FOUND IN SKIN INFECTIONS

Abstract

This research assessed the antimicrobial properties of lemon and lemongrass essential oils against the common skin microbes: Corynebacterium xerosis, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and the fungus Candida albicans. Disk diffusion assays using 2 μl of the oil or DMSO control were done on Mueller Hinton agar (bacteria) or Sabouraud agar (fungus). Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assays were performed using the oil and the corresponding broth media. The MIC was the lowest concentration of oil that significantly inhibited growth compared to the no oil control. Minimum bacteriocidal concentration (MBC) assays were performed by plating microbes from the broth containing the potential MIC on an agar plate, growing overnight and checking for growth. One-way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey test were used to determine the statistical significance of all results obtained. There were no zones of inhibition when lemon essential oil and control DMSO were tested against any of the selected microbes. Average lemongrass zones of inhibition were 25mm + 4.08 for C. albicans (P<0.001), 13mm + 1.62 for C. xerosis (P<0.001), 8mm + 5.04 for S. aureus (P<0.05), and 26mm + 6.35 for S. epidermidis (P<0.001). Lemon oil MICs were 6.25% (p<0.01) for C. albicans and 25% (p<0.05) for S. aureus. Lemongrass oil MICs were 1.56% (p<0.01) for C. albicans, 1.56% (p<0.05) for S. aureus, and 3.125% (p<0.01) for S. epidermidis. No MICs were found for C. xerosis. There were no MBCs found for lemon oil. The MBCs for lemongrass oil was 1.56% for C. albicans and 6.25% for S. aureus. With the continuously expanding knowledge of essential oils, they may be soon considered a viable, holistic option to treating infections.

Acknowledgements

Young Harris College Undergraduate Research Fund

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