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      A review of plant-derived essential oils in ruminant nutrition and production

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      Animal Feed Science and Technology

      Elsevier BV

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          The phenolic hydroxyl group of carvacrol is essential for action against the food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereus.

          The natural antimicrobial compound carvacrol shows a high preference for hydrophobic phases. The partition coefficients of carvacrol in both octanol-water and liposome-buffer phases were determined (3.64 and 3.26, respectively). Addition of carvacrol to a liposomal suspension resulted in an expansion of the liposomal membrane. Maximum expansion was observed after the addition of 0.50 micromol of carvacrol/mg of L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine. Cymene, a biological precursor of carvacrol which lacks a hydroxyl group, was found to have a higher preference for liposomal membranes, thereby causing more expansion. The effect of cymene on the membrane potential was less pronounced than the effect of carvacrol. The pH gradient and ATP pools were not affected by cymene. Measurement of the antimicrobial activities of compounds similar to carvacrol (e.g., thymol, cymene, menthol, and carvacrol methyl ester) showed that the hydroxyl group of this compound and the presence of a system of delocalized electrons are important for the antimicrobial activity of carvacrol. Based on this study, we hypothesize that carvacrol destabilizes the cytoplasmic membrane and, in addition, acts as a proton exchanger, thereby reducing the pH gradient across the cytoplasmic membrane. The resulting collapse of the proton motive force and depletion of the ATP pool eventually lead to cell death.
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            Mechanisms of antibacterial action of three monoterpenes.

            In the present paper, we report the antimicrobial efficacy of three monoterpenes [linalyl acetate, (+)menthol, and thymol] against the gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. For a better understanding of their mechanisms of action, the capability of these three monoterpenes to damage biomembranes was evaluated by monitoring the release, following exposure to the compounds under study, of the water-soluble fluorescent marker carboxyfluorescein from unilamellar vesicles with different lipidic compositions (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylcholine/phosphatidylserine [9:1], phosphatidylcholine/stearylamine [9:1], and phosphatidylglycerol/cardiolipin [9:1]). Furthermore, the interaction of the terpenes tested with dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine multilamellar vesicles as model membranes was monitored by means of differential scanning calorimetry. Finally, the results were related to the relative lipophilicity and water solubility of the compounds examined. Taken together, our findings lead us to speculate that the antimicrobial effect of (+)menthol, thymol, and linalyl acetate may result, at least partially, from a perturbation of the lipid fraction of microorganism plasma membrane, resulting in alterations of membrane permeability and in leakage of intracellular materials. Besides being related to physicochemical characteristics of the drugs (such as lipophilicity and water solubility), this effect seems to be dependent on lipid composition and net surface charge of microbial membranes. Furthermore, the drugs might cross the cell membranes, penetrating into the interior of the cell and interacting with intracellular sites critical for antibacterial activity.
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              Characterization of the Action of Selected Essential Oil Components on Gram-Negative Bacteria

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Animal Feed Science and Technology
                Animal Feed Science and Technology
                Elsevier BV
                03778401
                August 2008
                August 2008
                : 145
                : 1-4
                : 209-228
                Article
                10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2007.04.014
                © 2008

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