Home Science Identification of Essential Oils for Efficient Treatment of Lyme disease
Identification of Essential Oils for Efficient Treatment of Lyme disease

Identification of Essential Oils for Efficient Treatment of Lyme disease

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found 10 essential oils that have strong activity against stationary phase Borrelia burgdorferi

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi— a bacterial species of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia. B. burgdorferi. It is the most common vector borne-disease in the U.S.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), March 2018 Report, around 300,000 cases Lyme disease are recorded annually in the U.S. A standard 2–4 weeks antibiotic monotherapy with doxycycline or amoxicillin or cefuroxime is used to treat the majority of the Lyme disease patients. However, according to ‘the clinical assessment, treatment, and prevention of lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and babesiosis: clinical practice guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America’ report published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in 2006, around 36% of patients continue to suffer from persisting symptoms of fatigue, joint, or musculoskeletal pain, and neuropsychiatric symptoms, even six months after taking the standard antibiotic therapy.

The inconsistency in treatment may be attributed to persistent infection. Moreover, B. burgdorferi develops dormant persisters in stationary phase cultures, which are not eliminated by the current Lyme antibiotics. Now, a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Prevention Alzheimer International Foundation studied 35 essential oils and found 10 essential oils and the active component of cinnamon bark cinnamaldehyde at a low concentration of 0.1% that have strong activity against stationary phase B. burgdorferi. The team had previously identified some highly active essential oils with profound activity against biofilm and stationary phase B. burgdorferi.

The most active essential oils include garlic, allspice, myrrh, hydacheim, and Litsea cubeba. The team found that garlic oil can completely eliminate stationary phase B. burgdorferi and restricts regrowth at 0.05% concentration. Moreover, cinnamaldehyde –an active ingredient of cinnamon bark oil – was found to have robust activity against B. burgdorferi stationary phase cells. The research was funded in part by Global Lyme Alliance, LivLyme Foundation, NatCapLyme, and the Einstein-Sim Family Charitable Fund and published in the journal MDPI Antibiotics on October 16, 2018.


Anagha Kulkarni
Anagha Kulkarni,

Anagha Kulkarni
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