Interaction Between Aromatic Oil Components and Bacterial Targets
Aromatic and medicinal plants have been used as antimicrobial agents since time immemorial, though there has been a stark decline in the total quantitative use in recent times. Nonetheless they have been used, albeit with little or no precision in the knowledge of their modes of actions. Recent studies have indicated that different components of essential oils cause distinct types of injuries to microbial cells, each type of damage characteristic to one or more components of a particular essential oil. The damage to the microbial cells result from oxidative stress, protein dysfunction or membrane impairment. The modern interdisciplinary research has been successful in furthering our comprehension of the various chemotypes of essential oils as well as improving our insight on designing active compounds for use as antimicrobial agents and as alternatives to antibiotics. Here, we have briefly reviewed the chemical principles that underlie the antibacterial activity of some promising essential oils. We have also discussed the pros and cons of preferring compounds for specific microbial targeting. Further, we have emphasized on the possible steps to catalogue and leverage this uncharted fraction of the study of antibacterial properties of essential oils.
This chapter is part of DSc thesis (2018) submitted to Sambalpur University, Odisha, India.
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