Thymol and Bromothymol: Two Alleys in Biological Weapons Defeat

  • Silvia PezzolaEmail author
  • Federica Sabuzi
  • Valeria Conte
  • Francesco Scafarto
  • Francesca Valentini
  • Luigi Antonio Poggi
  • Pierluca Galloni
Conference paper


In recent years, mounting concerns over the use of biological weapons has raised the need to identify effective countermeasures. In the majority of cases, such weapons have been designed modifying bacterial strains to achieve antidrug-resistance. In order to reduce resistance, treatments based on essential oil extracts are available. Thus, pharmaco-resistance overcoming is possible using the compounds that plants use in preserving themselves from microorganism infections. Among all, thymol is the most interesting compound due to its high efficacy towards a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, it shows a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) in the micro-nanomolar range. Furthermore, its activity is related with an unspecific mechanism, as the capability in binding ion pumps and interfering with cell membrane stability. In addition, it shows negligible toxicity versus human fibroblast. Our group have been developing the synthesis of a new functionalized thymol molecule, the bromothymol. Preliminary studies have shown that bromothymol is two folds more efficient on Escherichia coli strains and at least 15-folds more active on Staphylococcus strains compared to thymol. To summarize, bromothymol showed promising results as a potential treatment against some strains, such as E. Coli O157:H7 and Yersinia, similar to that used in biological weapons.


Thymol Bromothymol Biological weapons Antibacterial agents 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Pezzola
    • 1
    Email author
  • Federica Sabuzi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valeria Conte
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesco Scafarto
    • 1
    • 3
  • Francesca Valentini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luigi Antonio Poggi
    • 1
    • 4
  • Pierluca Galloni
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.BT-InnoVaChemsrl, c/o Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie ChimicheUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie ChimicheUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Management e DirittoUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Ingegneria IndustrialeUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

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