In Vitro Study of an Orange Oil Derived Alternative to Antibiotics in the Treatment of Bovine Mastitis

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Bovine mastitis is a costly disease in the U.S. dairy industry. Its major causative agent Staphylococcus aureus is often unresponsive to antibiotic therapy. Our first study examined terpeneless, cold-pressed Valencia (CPV) orange oil as a possible alternative to antibiotic therapy in the treatment of S. aureus associated bovine mastitis. Orange oil showed significant inhibition of S. aureus growth and invasion of bovine epithelial mammary cells, but only modest reductions in pre-formed biofilms, which contribute to persistence of S. aureus infections. Our second study examined major components of terpeneless, CPV orange oil. Of four major compounds tested, only citral and linalool had significant inhibitory effects on S. aureus growth. In addition, they were capable of reducing pre-formed biofilms as well as association and invasion to bovine epithelial mammary cells. Part of this inhibition was due to downregulation of virulence and biofilm genes.