Effects of tea tree oil on microbial adhesion

University of Western Australia

  • Project code: PRJ-000005

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, July 1, 2007

  • Project completion date: Friday, May 29, 2009

  • National Priority: TTO-Increasing demand


The aims of this research are to examine and characterise the ways in which tea tree oil may be interfering with the adhesion of microorganisms to different surfaces.
The broad aims of the project are as follows:
1. Examine the effects of tea tree oil on the adhesion of Candida albicans to polystyrene and human cell lines
2. Investigate the effects of tea tree oil on the adhesion of the bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus to inert surfaces such as polystyrene or glass
3. Investigate mechanisms by which inhibition of adhesion may be occurring
4. Examine possible applications of the outcomes, such as the feasibility of tea tree oil-impregnated devices.


Tea Tree Oil

Research Organisation

University of Western Australia

Objective Summary

Establishing efficacy and new modes of antimicrobial action are key to the ongoing development and profitability of the Australian tea tree oil industry. Pre-clinical or proof-of-concept work such as the research proposed for this study is critical for encouraging more clinical work to be undertaken.