This study looked at 58 isolates of Gardnerella vaginalis, the main bacteria identified in association with bacterial vaginosis, using tea tree and coconut vinegar solution in a lab. Out of the 58 isolates, 38 strains created biofilms, so the researchers tested these strains.
Ten of the strains tested with tea tree oil had their biofilm inhibited – that is, the growth of biofilm was inhibited, but they did not test its ability to break down a biofilm that was already there, which is an important difference – and the vinegar inhibited 11 of the 38 strains. That is about a 25-30 per cent success rate in only inhibiting the biofilms. This is useful, but bacterial vaginosis requires the breakdown of an existing biofilm, so any testing needs to state this specifically, otherwise the solutions may be useful only at preventing an infection, rather than treating an existing biofilm.
In terms of the tea tree oil and coconut vinegars’ success rate at killing the planktonic bacteria in the lab, the tea tree oil killed 74 per cent of the G. vaginalis strains and the coconut vinegar killed 80 per cent.
Tea tree oil and coconut vinegar may be somewhat useful in certain dilutions at inhibiting biofilm formation and killing planktonic bacteria, particularly G. vaginalis, but they were not tested for their ability to dissolve a biofilm that currently exists.
International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology, Volume-8, Issue-2, April-June-2017 Coden IJABFP-CAS-USA DOI: 10.21276/Ijabpt, http://dx.doi.org/10.21276/ijabpt, ANTIBACTERIAL AND ANTIBIOFILM ACTIVITY OF TEA TREE OIL AND COCONUT VINEGAR AGAINST GARDNERELLA VAGINALIS. Kumari Nisha and and Beena Antony