Our study investigated the antimicrobial action of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil (EO) on the zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. After confirming the clove essential oil's general antibacterial effect, we analyzed the reference strain Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168. Phenotypic, proteomic, and transcriptomic methods were used to reveal changes in cell morphology and functions when exposed to sublethal concentrations of clove EO. The normally curved cells showed markedly straightened and shrunken morphology on the scanning electron micrographs as a result of stress. Although, oxidative stress, as a generally accepted response to essential oils, was also present, the dominance of a general stress response was demonstrated by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The results of RT-PCR and two-dimensional (2D) PAGE revealed that clove oil perturbs the expression of virulence-associated genes taking part in the synthesis of flagella, PEB1, PEB4, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and serine protease. Loss of motility was also detected by a phenotypic test. Bioautographic analysis revealed that besides its major component, eugenol, at least four other spots of clove EO possessed bactericidal activity against C. jejuni. Our findings show that clove EO has a marked antibacterial and potential virulence-modulating effect on C. jejuni.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology