Antimicrobial activity of nanocrystalline tree oil against Escherichia coli

Although antibiotics have been used as feed additives to manage various animal bacterial infectious diseases, the continuous emergence of drug-resistant bacterial strains has limited their effectiveness. Since plant essential oils showed a significant antibacterial effect, they were considered as a potential candidate to alleviate the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Study: Tea tree oil nanoliposomes: optimization, characterization, and antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli in vitro and in vivo.  Image credit: ronstik / Shutterstock
Stady: Tea tree oil nanoliposomes: optimization, characterization, and antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli in vitro and in vivo.. Image credit: ronstik / Shutterstock

at recent days poultry science In the study, researchers formulated tree tee oil nanoliposomes (TTONL) and analyzed their antibacterial efficacy against pathogens. Escherichia coli (coli) Which greatly affects the poultry industry. The main objective of the current study is to develop a new drug to promote sustainable and healthy animal husbandry in China.

coli infection in poultry

Although most coli The strains are non-pathogenic and are found naturally in the intestines, and some virulent strains can cause Crohn’s disease, gastroenteritis, and hemorrhagic colitis. In addition, it is pathogenic coli coli, a common systemic or topical infection in poultry. Coliform disease has also been associated with multi-organ lesions, such as air sacculitis, hepatitis C, and peritonitis, causing significant mortality in poultry.

coli The cell wall is mainly composed of lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and cytolysis of these bacteria leads to massive release of LPS which leads to an inflammatory response. In this context, NLRP3 was found to play an important role in inducing the inflammatory response during coli infection. Another factor that mediates late-stage inflammation is HMGB1.

Tree loaded oil (TTO) nanoliposomes

TTO is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree. This essential oil is light yellow to clear in color and has a refreshing camphor scent. Typically, the tea tree is found on the coast from south Queensland to northern New South Wales, Australia.

TTO has many medical applications, including treating herpes, young loveScabies, insect bites and bacterial skin infections. Most importantly, this essential oil showed a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of less than 1% against most bacteria and fungi. Hence, TTO is considered as a promising antimicrobial agent.

Terpinen-4-ol and α-terpineol are the main components of TTO that enhance antibacterial activity. Mechanistically, the bactericidal effect of these ingredients has been associated with disruption of the microbial cell membrane, causing cell lysis.

Besides its advantages, some of the limitations that limit the application of TTO include its insolubility in water, its unstable nature, and the strong tendency of its active ingredients to change when exposed to air. These shortcomings can be overcome by using nanoliposomes, which is a bilayer vesicle carrier system formed by self-assembly in an aqueous medium.

Essential oil-bearing nanoparticles reach the target site through cellular interactions (eg, phagocytosis, uptake, and incorporation). Most importantly, it significantly improved the poor stability of essential oils during storage and application. In this study, TTONL production was optimized for inhibition coli disease in poultry.

Synthesis and characterization of TTONL

TTONL was manufactured using thin-film hydration technology and sonication technology. The development process was optimized using the Box-Behnken response surface method. The optimal conditions specified for TTONL synthesis were a lecithin to cholesterol mass ratio of 3.7:1, a pH of hydration medium of 7.4, and a TTO concentration of 0.5. These conditions result in a TTONL encapsulation rate of 80.31 ± 0.56%.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis revealed that TTONL was nearly spherical in shape and uniform in size. The average particle size of this bilayer structure containing TTO was 227.8 ± 25.3 nm with a negative charge. The characteristic absorption peak of TTONL revealed little modification of the liposome’s underlying skeleton. Importantly, the experimental results indicated that TTONL was most stable at 4aC, compared to room temperature, for a period of 35 days.

Antibacterial efficacy of TTONL

The antibacterial efficacy of TTONL was evaluated against coli Across in the laboratory And the in vivo experiments. to me in vivo study, effectiveness TTONL was investigated using coli-infected chickens.

MIC test results indicated that the nanoparticles improved the antibacterial efficacy of TTO against various coli strains. After 8 hours of treatment with 75 mg/mL of TTONL, a complete bactericidal effect was observed against the test strains.

in the laboratory Experiments have shown that exposure to TTONL caused varying degrees of structural damage to coli strains. that in vivo The study revealed that oral administration of TTONL significantly reduced the clinical symptoms and intestinal lesions of infected chickens. Importantly, TTONL treatment significantly decreased mRNA expression of NLRP3 and NF-κB in the cecum and duodenum of coliInfected poultry.


The newly synthesized TTONL showed a greater encapsulation rate, slower release, and improved stability with promising antibacterial activity against the tested pathogens. Considering all the experimental results, the current study strongly recommended the prophylactic application of TTONL for the management of bacterial diseases of birds.

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