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Antifungal and antibacterial activities of Petroselinum crispum essential oil

Parsley [Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Fuss] is regarded as an aromatic, culinary, and medicinal plant and is used in the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. However, few studies with conflicting results have been conducted on the antimicrobial activity of parsley essential oil. In addition, there have been no reports of essential oil obtained from parsley aerial parts, except seeds, as an alternative natural antimicrobial agent. Also, microorganism resistance is still a challenge for health and food production. Based on the demand for natural products to control microorganisms, and the re-evaluation of potential medicinal plants for controlling diseases, the objective of this study was to determine the chemical composition and antibacterial and antifungal activities of parsley essential oil against foodborne diseases and opportunistic pathogens. Seven bacteria and eight fungi were tested. The essential oil major compounds were apiol, myristicin, and β-phellandrene. Parsley essential oil had bacteriostatic activity against all tested bacteria, mainly Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica, at similar or lower concentrations than at least one of the controls, and bactericidal activity against all tested bacteria, mainly S. aureus, at similar or lower concentrations than at least one of the controls. This essential oil also had fungistatic activity against all tested fungi, mainly, Penicillium ochrochloron and Trichoderma viride, at lower concentrations than the ketoconazole control and fungicidal activity against all tested fungi at higher concentrations than the controls. Parsley is used in cooking and medicine, and its essential oil is an effective antimicrobial agent.