Effects of Essential Oil Combinations on Pathogenic Yeasts and Moulds


Essential oils (EOs) can be used as alternative or complementary antifungal agents against human pathogenic moulds and yeasts. To reduce the effective dose of antimicrobial agents, EOs are combined which can lead to synergistic or additive effect. In this study the anti-yeast and anti-mould activities of selected EOs were investigated, alone and in combinations, against clinical isolates of Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, Aspergillus fumigatus, A. terreus, Rhizopus microsporus, Fusarium solani and Lichtheimia corymbifera. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined for the EOs of cinnamon, citronella, clove, spearmint and thyme. To investigate the combination effect of the EOs, fractional inhibitory concentrations (FICs) were defined by the checkerboard method and the type of interaction was determined by the FIC index (FICI). FIC index below 0.5 was considered as synergism and between 0.5 and 1 as additive effect. Strongest antifungal activity was showed by thyme EO with MIC values below 1.0 mg/ml. Combination of EOs resulted in additive or indifferent effect, with occasional “borderline synergism”. The best combination was cinnamon with clove leading to additive effect in all cases.


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Correspondence to Györgyi Horváth.

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Horváth, G., Jenei, J.T., Vágvölgyi, C. et al. Effects of Essential Oil Combinations on Pathogenic Yeasts and Moulds. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 67, 205–214 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1556/018.67.2016.2.8

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  • Essential oils
  • fungal pathogens
  • fractional inhibitory concentration
  • combined effect