Biocontrol science

Killing effect of peppermint vapor against pink-slime forming microorganisms.

PMID 26133506


The killing effect of peppermint vapor (PMV) against pink-slime forming microorganisms, Methylobacterium mesophilicum as a bacterium and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa as a yeast, was investigated by the agar vapor assay. In this method, microbial cells were spread over the agar surface exposed to PMV in a petri dish, and then transferred into a recovery liquid. When 60μl of the peppermint liquid was added to a paper disc, a marked killing effect of PMV was observed after 48h against M. mesophilicum and after 168h against R. mucilaginosa. M. mesophilicum and R. mucilaginosa were found to be more resistant to PMV than Escherichia coli and Candida albicans, used as reference microorganisms, respectively. With the addition of 0.03% sodium pyruvate as a hydrogen peroxide scavenger in agar, the killing effect of PMV against E. coli and C. albicans was decreased, whereas it was little changed against M. mesophilicum and R. mucilaginosa. In fact, the properties of the killing effect of hydrogen peroxide solution at 0.2-1.0mM was in accord with those of PMV. M. mesophilicum and R. mucilaginosa were more resistant to the oxidant than E. coli and C. albicans, respectively. Results obtained suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) may be involved in the killing action of PMV and therefore pink-slime formers are more resistant to PMV than non-pink-slime formers because of the presence of carotenoids as an antioxidant in cells. We also suggest that the use of PMV appeared to be a potential tool for the control of pink-slime forming microorganisms occurring in wet areas of houses such as the bathroom and washing room.