The natural plant compound carvacrol as an antimicrobial and anti-biofilm agent: mechanisms, synergies and bio-inspired anti-infective materials.

carvacrol, essential oil from origanum vulgare, staphylococcus aureus, protective effect of carvacrol

The natural plant compound carvacrol as an antimicrobial and anti-biofilm agent: mechanisms, synergies and bio-inspired anti-infective materials.

Author Information

Marchese A1, Arciola CR2,3, Coppo E4, Barbieri R4, Barreca D5, Chebaibi S6, Sobarzo-Sánchez E7,8, Nabavi SF9, Nabavi SM9, Daglia M10.

1 Microbiology Section DISC-Ospedale Policlinico San Martino , University of Genoa , Genoa , Italy.
2 Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine , University of Bologna , Bologna , Italy.
3 Research Unit on Implant Infections , Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute , Bologna , Italy.
4 Microbiology Section DISC , University of Genoa , Genoa , Italy.
5 Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental Sciences , University of Messina , Messina , Italy.
6 Department of Health and Environment, Science Faculty , University Moulay Ismail , Meknes , Morocco.
7 Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy , University of Santiago de Compostela , Spain.
8 Instituto de Investigación e Innovación en Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud , Universidad Central de Chile , Chile.
9 Applied Biotechnology Research Center , Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran.
10 Department of Drug Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology Section , University of Pavia , Pavia , Italy.

Abstract

Carvacrol (5-isopropyl-2-methyl phenol) is a natural compound that occurs in the leaves of a number of plants and herbs including wild bergamot, thyme and pepperwort, but which is most abundant in oregano. The aim of this review is to analyse the scientific data from the last five years (2012-2017) on the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities of carvacrol, targeting different bacteria and fungi responsible for human infectious diseases. The antimicrobial and anti-biofilm mechanisms of carvacrol and its synergies with antibiotics are illustrated. The potential of carvacrol-loaded anti-infective nanomaterials is underlined. Carvacrol shows excellent antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities, and is a very interesting bioactive compound against fungi and a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and being active against both planktonic and sessile human pathogens. Moreover, carvacrol lends itself to being combined with nanomaterials, thus providing an opportunity for preventing biofilm-associated infections by new bio-inspired, anti-infective materials.

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