The objectives of this study were to develop a new assay for the evaluation of the antimicrobial activities of essential oils (EOs) in vapour phase and to demonstrate the antimicrobial activities of commercial EOs against BRPs. To achieve the first objective, a microtube cap containing 100 μl of EO was embedded in an agar plate. An agar plug (diameter 13 mm) inoculated with a bacterial suspension containing108 CFU per ml was then placed over the cap and incubated at 37°C for 24 h. Subsequently, bacteria were recovered from the agar plug by immersion in 5 ml of broth for 10 min, followed by vortexing for 30 s, and the broths were then plated for enumeration. To demonstrate the usefulness of the assay, nine commercial EOs derived from the following specific plants: ajowan, carrot seed, cinnamon leaf, citronella, fennel, ginger grass, lavender, rosemary and thyme were first evaluated for their vapour phase antimicrobial activities against Mannheimia haemolytica serotype 1. Selected EOs were further tested against Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni. The EOs of ajowan, thyme and cinnamon leaf completely or partially inhibited BRPs growth. This new assay provided reproducible results on the vapour phase antimicrobial activities of EOs against BRPs. These results support further study of EOs as a potential mitigation strategy against BRPs.Significance and Impact of the Study
In this study, we present a new vapour phase assay for evaluating the antimicrobial activities of essential oils (EO) against bovine respiratory pathogens (BRPs). Using this assay, we identified EOs, such as ajowan, thyme and cinnamon leaf, that can effectively inhibit growth of the BRPs Mannheimia haemolytica serotype 1, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni. This is the first study to demonstrate the vapour phase antimicrobial activity of EOs against BRPs.