The antimicrobial modes of action of six naturally occurring compounds, cinnamon oil, cinnamaldehyde, oregano oil, carvacrol, 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, previously found to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) reported to infect food animals and humans and to be present in milk, cheese, and meat, were investigated. The incubation of Map cultures in the presence of all six compounds caused phosphate ions to leak into the extracellular environment in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde decreased the intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration of Map cells, whereas oregano oil and carvacrol caused an initial decrease of intracellular ATP concentration that was restored gradually after incubation at 37 °C for 2 h. Neither 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde nor 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde had a significant effect on intracellular ATP concentration. None of the compounds tested were found to cause leakage of ATP to the extracellular environment. Monolayer studies involving a Langmuir trough apparatus revealed that all anti-Map compounds, especially the essential oil compounds, altered the molecular packing characteristics of phospholipid molecules of model membranes, causing fluidization. The results of the physicochemical model microbial membrane studies suggest that the destruction of the pathogenic bacteria might be associated with the disruption of the bacterial cell membrane.
Nowotarska, S. W., Nowotarski, K., Grant, I., Elliott, C., Friedman, M., & Situ, C. (2017). Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Action of Cinnamon and Oregano Oils, Cinnamaldehyde, Carvacrol, 2,5-Dihydroxybenzaldehyde, and 2-Hydroxy-5-Methoxybenzaldehyde against Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). Foods, 6(72), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6090072