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Sub-Inhibitory Doses of Individual Constituents of Essential Oils Can Select for Staphylococcus aureus Resistant Mutants

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Berdejo Daniel, Chueca Beatriz, Pagán Elisa, Renzoni Adriana, Kelley William, Pagán Rafael, Garcia-Gonzalo Diego,
Project Identification of RNA signatures in Staphylococcus aureus to detect low-level glycopeptide resistance (hVISA and VISA): an integration of clinical and basic research
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Molecules
Volume (Issue) 24(1)
Page(s) 170 - 170
Title of proceedings Molecules
DOI 10.3390/molecules24010170

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Increased bacterial resistance to food preservation technologies represents a risk for food safety and shelf-life. The use of natural antimicrobials, such as essential oils (EOs) and their individual constituents (ICs), has been proposed to avoid the generation of antimicrobial resistance. However, prolonged application of ICs might conceivably lead to the emergence of resistant strains. Hence, this study was aimed toward applying sub-inhibitory doses of the ICs carvacrol, citral, and (+)-limonene oxide to Staphylococcus aureus USA300, in order to evaluate the emergence of resistant strains and to identify the genetic modifications responsible for their increased resistance. Three stable-resistant strains, CAR (from cultures with carvacrol), CIT (from cultures with citral), and OXLIM (from cultures with (+)-limonene oxide) were isolated, showing an increased resistance against the ICs and a higher tolerance to lethal treatments by ICs or heat. Whole-genome sequencing revealed in CAR a large deletion in a region that contained genes encoding transcriptional regulators and metabolic enzymes. CIT showed a single missense mutation in aroC (N187K), which encodes for chorismate synthase; and in OXLIM a missense mutation was detected in rpoB (A862V), which encodes for RNA polymerase subunit beta. This study provides a first detailed insight into the mechanisms of action and S. aureus resistance arising from exposure to carvacrol, citral, and (+)-limonene oxide.