Evaluation of the antibacterial activity of bergamot essential oils on different Listeria monocytogenes strains

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Stefania M. Marotta *
Filippo Giarratana
Alessio Parco
Domenico Neri
Graziella Ziino
Alessandro Giuffrida
Antonio Panebianco
(*) Corresponding Author:
Stefania M. Marotta | smarotta@unime.it


Essential oils are aromatic and volatile substances extracted from plants and characterized by antimicrobial activity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity (agar disc-diffusion method) of seven different bergamot essential oils (BEOs) on eight Listeria monocytogenes strains. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of most efficient BEOs was estimated. Extremely variable results for agar disc-diffusion method for L. monocytogenes strains were reported. One of the tested microorganisms resulted insensible to all the BEOs; 3 strains showed an inhibition from weak to null and the remaining 4 a variable susceptibility. Among the BEOs tested, one showed a strong activity against four pathogenic strains. Four BEOs revealed weak, moderate or null activity in all the 7 sensitive strains, while for two oils only a weak or no activity was reported. MIC values were 0.625 μL/mL for the most efficient BEO, 2.5 and 5 μL/mL for the other samples that showed moderate inhibition. Experiment results are significantly related to the strains tested (P<0.01), rather than the BEO employed (P>0.01). In conclusion, we can consider BEO as a natural technological hurdle for Listeria monocytogenes in combination with other preservation strategies. Finally, this study underlines the necessity to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of EOs on a significant strains number of the same bacteria.

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