Tea tree oil: in vitro efficacy in otitis externa

Farnan TB, McCallum J, Awa A, Khan AD, Hall SJ
Journal of Laryngology and Otology, 2005


ABSTRACT:

OBJECTIVE:
The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of organisms causing otitis externa (OE) to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree oil (TTO).

METHODS:
Fifty-seven swabs were taken from the ears of 52 patients with OE for culture and sensitivity. A broth microdilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of TTO for each organism.

RESULTS:
In 51 percent of the swabs taken, pathogenic organisms were cultured. Of these cultures 71 percent, both bacteria and yeast, were susceptible to TTO 2 percent or less. The only organism showing resistance to TTO was Pseudomonas aeruginosa; however 25 percent of these bacteria were sensitive.

CONCLUSION:
Tea tree oil may have a role to play in the treatment of OE. However, more work needs to be done to enhance the anti-pseudomonal effect and to assess ototoxicity.

CITATION:

Farnan TB, McCallum J, Awa A, Et Al. Tea tree oil: in vitro efficacy in otitis externa. J Laryngol Otol. 2005;119(3):198-201.


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