Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not tea tree oil preparation an effective topical therapy for patients with MRSA colonized wounds.

STUDY DESIGN: This review is based on three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in 2004,2013, and 2014. These studies compared the efficacy of tea tree oil (TIO) topical preparations in MRSA colonized wounds.

DATA SOURCES: All articles used were published in English, in peer-reviewed journals, and found using PubMed and Cochrane Review databases.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: The efficacy of tea tree oil preparations on MRSA colonized wounds were evaluated by using data from conventional wound cultures and wound measurements during and post treatments.

RESULTS: Dryden et al. (2004) found no significant difference between the two treatment regimens (TTO vs Standard Treatment) when all patients and colonized sites were taken into consideration. Blackwood et al. (2013) determined that washing patients with 5% TTO body wash had no significant effect on the incidence of MRSA colonization in comparison to Johnson's Baby Wash. On the contrary, Lee et al. (2014) found 10% TTO preparation was successful in eliminating MRSA from colonized wounds. It was also determined that 10% TTO preparation was successful in the recovery of chronic wounds that showed a delay in healing.

CONCLUSIONS: Results from two of the three studies demonstrate that there is no significant difference in wound outcome for patients treated with TTO preparations versus standard treatment methods. To further investigate whether TTO results is an effective topical therapy for MRSA colonized wounds comparative studies with a larger sample size are needed.