Food & Feed Research


Volume 45, Issue 1
Listeria monocytogenes, antimicrobial activity, essential oils, antibiotics, broth micro-dilution method, MIC Test Strip
TOOLS Creative Commons License
Ružica M. Tomičić*1, Ivana S. Čabarkapa2, Ana O. Varga2, Zorica M. Tomičić2
1 University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
2 University of Novi Sad, Institute of Food Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia


Food poisoning caused by Listeria monocytogenes leads to a 30% rate of mortality among patients. The application of essential oils (EOs) to food products is a suitable strategy to control pathogens and to extend their shelf life by reducing microbial levels. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of essential oils (EOs) against L. monocytogenes. The EOs used in this study were caraway (Carum carvi), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), dill (Anethum graveolens), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), mentha (Menthae piperitae aetheroleum), red thyme (Thymus vulgaris), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), common sage (Salvia officinalis), clary sage (Salvia sclarea) and summer savory (Satureja hortensis). The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of EOs were determined using the broth microdilution method. According to the MIC values, all essential oils were effective in the inhibition of L. monocytogenes strains, with MICs varying from 256 μg/ml to 4096 μg/ml. The results showed that cinnamon EO had the highest antimicrobial activity, while dill and mentha EOs were the least effective against the L. monocytogenes. In addition, two different procedures were carried out to test the effect of antibiotics gentamycin and streptomycin against the L. monocytogenes strains, the broth microdilution method and the MIC Test Strip. Our results indicated that the reference strain L. monocytogenes ATCC 19111 was much more sensitive to antibiotics than L. monocytogenes strains isolated from meat, highlighting that gentamycin was the more effective in comparison to streptomycin.

Download full article PDF


  1. Aarestrup, F. (2012). Sustainable farming: get pigs off antibiotics. Nature, 486, 465-466.
  2. Abdollahzadeh, E., Rezaei, M., Hosseini, H. (2014). Antibacterial activity of plant essential oils and extracts: The role of thyme essential oil, nisin, and their combination to control Listeria monocytogenes inoculated in minced fish meat. Food Control, 35, 177-183.
  3. Al-Nabulsi, A.A., Osaili, T.M., Shaker, R.R., Olaimat, A.N., Jaradat, Z.W., Elabe-deen, N.A. Z., Holley, R.A. (2015).  Effects of osmotic pressure, acid, or cold stresses on antibiotic susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes. Food Microbiology, 46, 154-160.
  4. Bakkali, F., Averbeck, S., Averbeck, D., Idaomar, M. (2008). Biological effects of essential oils-a review. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 46, 446-475.
  5. Bansod, S., Rai, M. (2008). Antifungal activity of essential oils from Indian medicinal plants against human pathogenic Aspergillus fumigatus and A. niger. World Journal of Medical Sciences, 3 (2), 81-88.
  6. Bertsch, D., Muelli, M., Weller, M., Uruty, A., Lacroix, C., Meile, L. (2014). Antimicrobial susceptibility and antibiotic resistance gene transfer analysis of foodborne, clinical, and environmental Listeria spp. isolates including Listeria monocytogenes. Microbiology Open, 3 (1), 118-127.
  7. Burt, S. (2004). Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods-a review. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 94, 223-253.
  8. Chauhan, A.T., Negi, P.S., Ramteke, R.S. (2007). Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of aqueous extract of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seeds. Fi-toterapia, 78, 590-592.
  9. Chouhan, S., Sharma K., Guleria, S. (2017). Antimicrobial activity of some essential oils-present status and future perspectives. Medicines, 4, 1-23.
  10. Conter, M., Paludi, D., Zanardi, E., Ghidini, S., Vergara, A., Ianieri, A. (2009). Characterization of antimicrobial resistance of foodborne Listeria monocytogenes. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 128, 497-500.
  11. Desai, M.A., Soni, K.A., Nannapaneni, R., Schilling, M.W., Silva, J.L. (2012). Reduction of Listeria monocytogenes in raw catfish fillets by essential oils and phenolic constituent carvacrol. Journal of Food Science, 77, 516-522.
  12. Gandhi, M., Chikindas, M.L. (2007). Listeria: a foodborne pathogen that knows how to survive. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 113, 1-15.
  13. Hammer, K.A., Carson, C.F., Riley, T.V. (1999). Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 86, 985-990.
  14. Hara-Kudo, Y., Kobayashi, A., Sugita-Ko-nishi, Y., Kondo, K. (2004). Antibacterial activity of plants used in cooking for aroma and taste. Journal of Food Protection, 67, 2820-2824.
  15. Nazzaro, F., Fratianni, F., Martino, L.D., Coppola, R., Feo, V.D. (2013). Effect of essential oils on pathogenic bacteria. Pharmaceuticals, 6, 1451-1474.
  16. Klančnik, A., Guzej, B., Kolar, M.H., Abramovič, H., Možina, S.S. (2009). In vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of commercial rosemary extract formulations. Journal of Food Protection, 72, 1744-1752.
  17. Kramarenko, T., Roasto, M., Keto-Timo-nen, R., Maesaar, M., Meremae, K., Kuningas, M., Horman A., Korkeala H. (2016). Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat vacuum and modified atmosphere packaged meat and fish products of Estonian origin at retail level. Food Control, 67, 48-52.
  18. Li, Q., Sherwood, J.S., Logue, C.M. (2006). Antimicrobial resistance of Listeria spp. Recovered from processed bison. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 44, 86-91.
  19. Liu, D. (2008). Epidemiology. In D. Liu (Ed.), Handbook of Listeria monocytogenes (pp. 27-59). Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis.
  20. Liu, G., Ren, G., Zhao, L., Cheng, L., Wang, C., Sun, B. (2017). Antibacterial activity and mechanism of bifidocin A against Listeria monocytogenes. Food Control, 73, 854-861.
  21. Magalhães, L., Nitschke, M. (2012). Antimicrobial activity of rhamnolipids against Listeria monocytogenes and their synergistic interaction with nisin. Food Control, 29, 138-142.
  22. Mazzarrino, G., Paparella, A., Chaves-Ló-pez, C., Faberi, A., Sergi, M., Sigismondi, C., Compagnone, D., Serio, A. (2015). Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes inactivation dynamics after treatment with selected essential oils. Food Control, 50, 794-803.
  23. McLauchlin, J., Mitchell, R.T., Smerdon, W.J., Jewell, K. (2004). Listeria monocytogenes and listeriosis: A review of hazard characterisation for use in microbiological risk assessment of foods. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 92, 15-33.
  24. Morvan, A., Moubareck, C., Leclercq, A., Hervé-Bazin, M., Bremont, S., Lecuit, M., Courvalin, P., Le Monnier, A. (2010). Antimicrobial resistance of Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from humans in France. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 54 (6), 2728-2731.
  25. Nazzaro, F., Fratianni, F., Martino, L.D., Coppola, R., Feo, V.D. (2013). Effect of essential oils on pathogenic bacteria. Pharmaceuticals, 6, 1451-1474.
  26. Neu, H.C. (1982). Mechanisms of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents, with particular reference to cefotaxime and other betalactam compounds. Reviews of Infectious Diseases, 4, 288-299.
  27. Rather, M.A., Dar, B.A., Dar, M.Y., Wani, B.A., Shah, W.A., Bhat, B.A., Ganai B.A., Bhat K.A., Anand, R., Qurishi M.A. (2012). Chemical composition, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of the leaf essential oil of Juglans regia L. and its constituents. Phytomedicine, 19, 1185-1190.
  28. Shan, B., Cai, Y.Z., Brooks, J.D., Corke, H. (2007). The in vitro antibacterial activity of dietary spice and medicinal herb extracts. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 117, 112-119.
  29. Tomičić, R., Čabarkapa, I., Vukmirović, Đ., Lević, J., Tomičić, Z. (2016). Influence of growth conditions on biofilm formation of Listeria monocitogenes. Food and Feed Research, 43 (1), 19-24.
  30. White, D.G., Zhao, S., Simjee, S., Wagner, D.D., McDermott, P.F. (2002). Antimicrobial resistance of foodborne pathogens. Microbes and Infection, 4, 405-412.
  31. Zampini, I.C., Vattuone, M.A., Isla, M.I. (2005). Antibacterial activity of Zuccagnia punctata Cav. ethanolic extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 102, 450-456.