Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Berries Essential Oil of Algerian Juniperus thurifera (Var. aurasiaca)

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Pharmaceutical Sciences
A B S T R A C T Background: Over the past decade, most antibiotic research programs have focused on finding new compounds with antimicrobial activity. This study aims to investigate the chemical composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oil (EO) extracted from ripe berries of Algerian Juniperus thurifera var. aurasiaca. Methods: The chemical composition of J. thurifera EO extracted by hydrodistillation was analyzed by using the GC-MS technique. Antibacterial activity of EO alone and in combination with three conventional antibiotics was assessed by using disc diffusion method against four bacterial strains. Results: Thirty-five components were identified, representing ~87 % of the oil. The main components were m-mentha-6,8-diene (15.43 %), β-pinene (10.59 %), elemol (8.31 %) and terpinene-4-ol (7.44 %). The essential oil showed strong antibacterial activity against S. aureus and E. coli, but no activity against P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis. Synergistic effects were observed because of the combined application of EO with gentamicin against all strains tested, and with amoxicillin against B. subtilis. Furthermore, the combination of EO/cefazolin demonstrated an additive effect against B. subtilis. In contrast, the combination of EO with amoxicillin and céfazoline revealed antagonistic effects against S. aureus, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa. Conclusion: This is the first report on the chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Algerian juniper berries’ essential oil. The results indicate that the studied EO may be a promising source of antibacterial compounds that could be useful for pharmaceutical applications especially in combination with conventional antibiotics.