CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Planta Med 2022; 88(03/04): 274-281
DOI: 10.1055/a-1726-9291
Biological and Pharmacological Activity
Original Papers

Screening of Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils against Bovine Respiratory Pathogens – Focusing on Pasteurella multocida

Doris Bismarck
1   Laboklin GmbH & Co.KG, Bad Kissingen, Germany
Jens Becker
2   Clinic for Ruminants, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Elisabeth Müller
1   Laboklin GmbH & Co.KG, Bad Kissingen, Germany
Vera Becher
3   SaluVet GmbH, Bad Waldsee, Germany
Lisa Nau
3   SaluVet GmbH, Bad Waldsee, Germany
Philipp Mayer
3   SaluVet GmbH, Bad Waldsee, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Supported by: SaluVet GmbH
Supported by: Laboklin GmbH & Co.KG


Administration of essential oils as natural plant products with antimicrobial activity might be an alternative to antibiotic treatment of bovine respiratory disease. The aim of this study was to analyse the in vitro antimicrobial activity of 11 essential oils against Pasteurella multocida isolated from the respiratory tract of calves using microdilution with determination of minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentration as well as agar disc diffusion. Additionally, antimicrobial activity against Mannheimia haemolytica and bacteria in the Mannheimia clade was assessed by agar disc diffusion. Seven essential oil mixtures were also tested against all bacterial isolates. P. multocida was strongly inhibited by cinnamon cassia and lemongrass oil followed by coriander, winter savory, thyme, clove, and peppermint oil in the microdilution assays. Eucalyptus, wintergreen, spruce, and star anise oil showed lower activity. Comparison of both methods revealed an underestimation of cinnamon cassia oil activity by agar disc diffusion and conflicting results for wintergreen oil in microdilution, which precipitated in broth. Cinnamon cassia, thyme, wintergreen, lemongrass, and winter savory oil all showed strong antimicrobial activity against M. haemolytica. Bacteria in the Mannheimia clade were mostly inhibited by cinnamon cassia and thyme oil. Pasteurella isolates were more susceptible to inhibition by essential oils than Mannheimia isolates. Essential oil mixtures did not show stronger antibacterial activity than single essential oils. In conclusion, cinnamon cassia and lemongrass as well as coriander, winter savory, and thyme oil are promising candidates for treatment of P. multocida-associated bovine respiratory infections.

Supporting Information

Publication History

Received: 28 February 2021

Accepted after revision: 13 December 2021

Article published online:
18 February 2022

© 2021. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commecial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

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