Essential oils and metal ions as alternative antimicrobial agents

A focus on tea tree oil and silver

Wan Li Low, Ken Kenward, Stephen T. Britland, Mohd Cairul Iqbal Mohd Amin, Claire Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The increasing occurrence of hospital-acquired infections and the emerging problems posed by antibiotic-resistant microbial strains have both contributed to the escalating cost of treatment. The presence of infection at the wound site can potentially stall the healing process at the inflammatory stage, leading to the development of a chronic wound. Traditional wound treatment regimes can no longer cope with the complications posed by antibiotic-resistant strains; hence, there is a need to explore the use of alternative antimicrobial agents. Pre-antibiotic compounds, including heavy metal ions and essential oils, have been re-investigated for their potential use as effective antimicrobial agents. Essential oils have potent antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other beneficial therapeutic properties. Similarly, heavy metal ions have also been used as disinfecting agents because of their broad spectrum activities. Both of these alternative antimicrobials interact with many different intracellular components, thereby resulting in the disruption of vital cell functions and eventually cell death. This review will discuss the application of essential oils and heavy metal ions, particularly tea tree oil and silver ions, as alternative antimicrobial agents for the treatment of chronic, infected wounds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Wound Journal
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016

Fingerprint

Tea Tree Oil
Heavy Ions
Volatile Oils
Heavy Metals
Anti-Infective Agents
Silver
Metals
Ions
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Wounds and Injuries
Wound Infection
Cross Infection
Health Care Costs
Antiviral Agents
Cell Death
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Antioxidants
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial
  • Silver
  • Tea tree oil
  • Wound infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

Cite this

Essential oils and metal ions as alternative antimicrobial agents : A focus on tea tree oil and silver. / Low, Wan Li; Kenward, Ken; Britland, Stephen T.; Mohd Amin, Mohd Cairul Iqbal; Martin, Claire.

In: International Wound Journal, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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