Creating Oregano Oil Nanocarriers to Fight Fish Disease

Jenn Hoskins
15th March, 2024

Creating Oregano Oil Nanocarriers to Fight Fish Disease

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers improved oregano oil's ability to fight food-borne pathogens using niosomes
  • Niosome-encapsulated oregano oil was 2-4 times more effective against bacterial biofilms
  • The niosome delivery system proved safe for human cells in tests
In the realm of food safety, one of the persistent challenges is combating food-borne pathogens, which can lead to serious health issues and spoilage. Researchers at Islamic Azad University have recently made strides in addressing this issue by enhancing the antimicrobial powers of oregano essential oil, a natural substance already known for its ability to fight off harmful microorganisms[1]. Oregano essential oil is a potent antimicrobial agent that has been traditionally used for its ability to thwart bacteria and fungi. However, its effectiveness can be hindered by factors like stability and solubility, which limit its practical applications. To overcome these obstacles, scientists have turned to niosomes, a type of nanocarrier that can encapsulate drugs or natural compounds to improve their delivery and efficacy. Niosomes are microscopic vesicles that can transport active ingredients to targeted areas. They are made from non-toxic surfactants and have the ability to encapsulate substances, protecting them from degradation and enhancing their absorption. This technology has been previously explored with antibiotics like streptomycin sulfate, demonstrating improved delivery and reduced toxicity[2]. In the recent study, the researchers developed various niosome formulations to encapsulate oregano essential oil. They meticulously examined the structural and morphological properties of these niosomes to determine the most effective way to deliver the oil. The optimal niosome formulation was found to have an average size of 219 nm with an encapsulation efficiency of over 60%, meaning a significant portion of the oregano oil was successfully packed inside the niosomes. The team then tested the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm effects of the niosome-encapsulated oregano oil against common food-borne pathogens. Biofilms are a kind of shield that bacteria create to protect themselves, making them tougher to eliminate. The study found that the niosome-loaded oil was 2-4 times more effective at disrupting these biofilms compared to the oil in its free form. To ensure that these niosomes would be safe for human use, the researchers conducted biocompatibility tests on human foreskin fibroblasts, a type of normal cell line. The results were promising, showing that the empty niosomes had no toxic effects on these cells. This advancement in niosome technology aligns with a growing interest in using green nanotechnology for medical applications. For instance, silver nanoparticles synthesized from Spirulina platensis, a type of blue-green algae, have shown impressive anticancer and antimicrobial activities[3]. These nanoparticles, like niosomes, serve as a vehicle to deliver therapeutic agents more effectively. Moreover, the use of natural compounds for disease prevention in aquaculture is gaining traction due to their safety and reduced risk of drug resistance[4]. This mirrors the approach taken in the niosome study, as oregano essential oil is a natural, plant-derived substance. The study from Islamic Azad University not only demonstrates the potential of niosomes as a delivery system for natural antimicrobials but also ties into the broader context of using innovative green technologies to enhance the effectiveness of natural compounds. This could have far-reaching implications for food safety, where the use of such technologies may help reduce the reliance on synthetic chemicals and antibiotics, addressing concerns about drug residues, pathogen resistance, and environmental pollution. In summary, the research presents a compelling case for the use of niosomes as a novel drug delivery system to potentiate the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities of natural substances like oregano essential oil. This could pave the way for safer and more effective strategies to combat food-borne pathogens, potentially transforming practices in food preservation and safety.

BiotechSpicesMarine Biology


Main Study

1) Development, physicochemical characterization, and antimicrobial evaluation of niosome-loaded oregano essential oil against fish-borne pathogens.

Published 15th March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Streptomycin Sulfate-Loaded Niosomes Enables Increased Antimicrobial and Anti-Biofilm Activities.

3) Evaluation of Green Silver Nanoparticles Fabricated by Spirulina platensis Phycocyanin as Anticancer and Antimicrobial Agents.

4) The effective components of herbal medicines used for prevention and control of fish diseases.

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