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Interactions between lemongrass and lavender essential oils in combination with ampicillin influencing antibacterial activity on Sporosarcina ureae and Serratia liquefaciens

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The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of various combinations of essential oils (EOs) with antibiotics on bacterial growth. The molecular mechanisms behind the effects of individual phytochemicals in EOs and antibiotics is well understood, unlike the mechanisms behind the interactions between multiple phytochemicals and antibiotics in a mixture. Serratia liquefaciens and Sporosarcina ureae were exposed to various treatments of different combinations of Lavandula officinalis (lavender oil), Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass oil) with ampicillin. For each treatment group, mean zones of inhibition (ZOI) were measured after exposure for 48 hours. Controls for both species did not yield any ZOI whereas all other treatments resulted in the inhibition of bacterial growth in both Serratia liquefaciens and Sporosarcina ureae. Statistical analyses showed that the combination of lemongrass oil and ampicillin was significantly more effective than all other treatments for Serratia liquefaciens. The lemongrass oil and ampicillin treatment was the only treatment that displayed additive effects. All treatments for Sporosarcina ureae, with the exception of the control and lavender oil treatments, showed a significantly higher mean ZOI when compared to control and lavender oil treatments. It was concluded that lemongrass oil was a better candidate to be included in antibacterial cocktails than lavender oil. However, further investigation is required to elucidate EOs that interact synergistically with ampicillin when acting on Serratia liquefaciens and Sporosarcina ureae. Additionally, further investigation into the molecular mechanisms behind the interactions of the components found in these EOs with ampicillin is required.

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