Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Commercial Origanum onites L. Oil Against Nosocomial Carbapenem Resistant Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase Producer Escherichia coli Isolates


In recent years rapidly growing antibiotic resistance has increased interest toward natural products, especially essential oils because of their various effects. The aim of this study was to identify the chemical composition of the commercial Origanum onites essential oil (EO) and to investigate the antimicrobial activity by disc diffusion and dilution methods, against ten different ATCC strains, including eight bacteria, two yeasts and seventy-nine clinical nosocomial Escherichia coli isolates that produce extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL). The chemical composition of EO was analyzed by GC and GC-MS. The major compounds of the EO were determined as carvacrol (51.4%) followed by linalool (11.2%), p-cymene (8.9%) and γ-terpinene (6.7%). O. onites EO had antimicrobial activity against all standard strains and inhibited microbial growth of ESBL positive E. coli isolates. According to our results, O. onites EO may be an alternative to synthetic drug, used in combination with other antibiotics for treatment of infection caused by multidrug resistant bacteria after testing toxic effects and irritation at preferred doses on human.


  1. 1.

    Adams, R. P. (2001) Identification of Essential Oil Components by Gas Chromatography/Quadrupole Mass Spectroscopy. Allured Publishing Co., Illinois, USA.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Akgül, A., Kıvanç, M. (1998) Inhibitory effects of selected Turkish spices and oregano components on some food borne fungi, Intern. J. Food. Microbiol. 6, 263–268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Askun, T., Tumen, G., Satil, F., Ates, M. (2009) Characterization of the phenolic composition and antimicrobial activities of Turkish medicinal plants. Pharm. Biol. 47, 563–571.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Baser, K. H. C. (2004) Domestic uses of Oregano in Turkey. In: Kitzios, S. E. (ed.) Oregano: The genera Origanum and Lippia. Taylor & Francis, London, pp. 111.

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Baser, K. H. C. (2008) Biological and pharmacological activities of carvacrol and carvacrol bearing essential oils. Curr. Pharm. Design. 14, 106–3019.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Baydar, H., Sagdiç, O., Ozkan, G., Karadoğan, T. (2004) Antibacterial activity and composition of essential oils from Origanum, Thymbra and Satureja species with commercial importance in Turkey. Food Control. 15, 169–172.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Beklem Bostancıoğlu, R., Kürkçüoğlu, M., Başer, K. H., Koparal, A. T. (2012) Assessment of antiangiogenic and anti-tumoral potentials of Origanum onites L. essential oil. Food Chem. Toxicol. 50, 2002–2008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Boyraz, N., Ozcan, M. (2006) Inhibition of phytopathogenic fungi by essential oil, hydrosol, ground material and extract of summer savory (Satureja hortensis L.) growing wild in Turkey. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 107, 238–42

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Cantón, R., Novais, A., Valverde, A., Machado, E., Peixe, L., Baquero, F. (2008) Prevalence and spread of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in Europe. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 14, 144–153.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    CLSI (2013) Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing, Twenty-Third Informational Supplement, Wayne PA, M100-S23, Vol. 33, No.1, January.

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Cosentino, S., Tuberoso, C. I., Pisano, B., Satta, M., Mascia, V., Arzedi, E., Palmas, F. (1999) Palmas, In-vitro antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Sardinian Thymus essential oils. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. 29, 130–135.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Demirci, F., Paper, D. H., Franz, G., Başer, K. H. C. (2004) Investigation of the Origanum onites L. essential oil using the chorioallantoic membrane assay. J. Agr. Food Chem. 52, 251–254.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    EUCAST (2016) Breakpoint tables for interpretation of MICs and zone diameters, Version 6.0. European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST); [cited 2016-01-01]. Avaiablefrom:

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Fachini-Queiroz, F. C., Kummer, R., Estevão-Silva, C. F., Barros Carvalho, M. D., Cunha, M. J., Grespan, R., Bersani-Amado, C. A., Cuman, R. K. N. (2012) Effects of Thymol and Carvacrol, Constituents of Thymus vulgaris L. Essential Oil, on the Inflammatory Response. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. vol. 2012, Article ID 657026, 10 pages.

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Holley, R. A., Patel, D. (2005) Improvement of shelflife and safety of perishable foods by plant essential oils and smoke antimicrobials. Food Microbiol. 22, 273–292.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Kacar, O., Göksu, E., Azkan, N. (2006) The effect of different plant densites on some agronomic and quality characteristics of Oregano (Origanum onites L.) The Journal of Agricultural Faculty of Uludag Universit. 2, 51–60.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Kan, Y., Uçan, U. S., Kartal, M., Altun, M. L., Aslan, S., Sayar, E., Ceyhan, T. (2006) GC-MS analysis and antibacterial activity of cultivated Satureja cuneifolia Ten essential oil. Turkish Journal of Chemistr. 30, 253–259.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Kintzios, S. E. (2002) Profile of thyme multifaceted prince of the herbs. In: Kitzios, S. E. (ed.) Oregano: The genera Origanum and Lippia. Taylor & Francis, London, 3–8.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Kirimer, N., Başer, K. H. C., Tümen, G. (1995) Carvacrol-rich plants in Turkey. Chem Nat Compd. 31, 37–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Kordali, S., Cakir, A., Ozer, H., Cakmakci, R., Kesdek, M., Mete, E. (2008) Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal properties of essential oil isolated from Turkish Origanum acutidens and its three components, carvacrol, thymol and p-cymene. Bioresource Technol. 99, 8788–8795.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Mith, H., Dure, R., Delcenserie, V., Zhiri, A., Daube, G., Clinquart, A. (2014) Antimicrobial activities of commercial essential oils and their components against food-borne pathogens and food spoilage bacteria. Food Sci Nutr. 2, 403–416.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Şahin, N. F., Güllüce, M., Dafererad, D., Sökmen, A., Sökmen, M., Polissioud, M., Agar, G., Özer, H. (2004) Biological activities of the essential oils and methanol extract of Origanum vulgare ssp. vulgare in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Food Contro. 15, 549–557.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Sarac, N., Ugur, A. (2008) Antimicrobial activities of the essential oils of Origanum onites L., Origanum vulgare L. subspecies hirtum (link) letswaart, Satureja thymbra L., and Thymus cilicicus Boiss. & Bal. growing wild in Turkey. J Med Food. 11, 568–573.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Sarikurkcu, C., Zengin, G., Oskay, M., Uysal, S., Ceylan, R., Aktumsek, R. (2015) Composition, antioxidant, antimicrobial and enzyme inhibition activities of two Origanum vulgare subspecies (subsp. vulgare and subsp. hirtum) essential oils. Ind. Crops Prod. 70, 178–184.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Schulz, H., Özkan, G., Baranska, M., Krüger, H., Özcan, M. (2005) Characterization of essential oil plants from Turkey by IR and Raman spectroscopy. Vibrational Spectroscop. 39, 249–256.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Sertkaya, E., Kaya, K. (2010) Acaricidal activities of the essential oils from several medicinal plants against the carmine spider mite (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisd.) (Acarina: Tetranychidae). Ind Crops Prod. 31, 107–112.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Skandamis, P., Tsigarida, E., Nychas, G. J. E. (2002) The effect of oregano essential oil on survival/ death of Salmonella typhimurium in meat stored at 50 °C under aerobic, VP/MAP conditions. Food Microbiol. 19, 97–103.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Solgi, M., Kafi, M., Taghavi, T., Naderi, R. (2009) Essential oils and silver nanoparticles (SNP) as novel agents to extend vase-life of gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii cv. ‘Dune’) flowers. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 53, 155–158.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Solórzano-Santos, F., Miranda-Novales, M. G. (2012) Essential oils from aromatic herbs as antimicrobial agents. Curr. Opin Biotechnol. 23, 136–141.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Tozlu, E., Cakir, A., Kordali, S., Tozlu, G., Ozer, H., Akcin, T. A. (2011) Chemical compositions and insecticidal effects of essential oils isolated from Achillea gypsicola, Satureja hortensis, Origanum acutidens and Hypericum scabrum against broadbean weevil (Bruchus dentipes). Sci. Horticult. 130, 9–17.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Vázquez, B. I., Fente, C., Franco, C. M., Vázquez, M. J., Cepeda, A. (2001) Inhibitory effects of eugenol and thymol on Penicillium citrinum strains in culture media and cheese. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 67, 157–163.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Banu Kaskatepe.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kaskatepe, B., Yildiz, S.S., Kiymaci, M.E. et al. Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Commercial Origanum onites L. Oil Against Nosocomial Carbapenem Resistant Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase Producer Escherichia coli Isolates. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 68, 466–476 (2017).

Download citation


  • Antimicrobial activity
  • nosocomial ESBL (+) E. coli
  • GC/MS
  • Origanum onites essential