Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds. J R Soc Med

Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Waikato, Hamilton City, Waikato, New Zealand
Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.12). 07/1999; 92(6):283-5.
Source: PubMed


The antibacterial action of honey in infected wounds does not depend wholly on its high osmolarity. We tested the sensitivity of 58 strains of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus, isolated from infected wounds, to a pasture honey and a manuka honey. There was little variation between the isolates in their sensitivity to honey: minimum inhibitory concentrations were all between 2 and 3% (v/v) for the manuka honey and between 3 and 4% for the pasture honey. Thus, these honeys would prevent growth of S. aureus if diluted by body fluids a further seven-fold to fourteen-fold beyond the point where their osmolarity ceased to be completely inhibitory. The antibacterial action of the pasture honey relied on release of hydrogen peroxide, which in vivo might be reduced by catalase activity in tissues or blood. The action of manuka honey stems partly from a phytochemical component, so this type of honey might be more effective in vivo. Comparative clinical trials with standardized honeys are needed.

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    • "Although osmolarity of honey is an important anti-microbial factor, the anti-microbial activity of honey is not totally lost when honey is diluted [14]. For instance, it has been shown that honey can be effective against Staphylococcus aureus when it is diluted by the wound exudates [52,64,65]. As a meaningful reason, when honey is diluted, it generates hydrogen peroxide which can inhibit bacterial growth [15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For thousands of years, honey has been used for medicinal applications. The beneficial effects of honey, particularly its anti-microbial activity represent it as a useful option for management of various wounds. Honey contains major amounts of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, proteins, vitamin and minerals that have important roles in wound healing with minimum trauma during redressing. Because bees have different nutritional behavior and collect the nourishments from different and various plants, the produced honeys have different compositions. Thus different types of honey have different medicinal value leading to different effects on wound healing. This review clarifies the mechanisms and therapeutic properties of honey on wound healing. The mechanisms of action of honey in wound healing are majorly due to its hydrogen peroxide, high osmolality, acidity, non-peroxide factors, nitric oxide and phenols. Laboratory studies and clinical trials have shown that honey promotes autolytic debridement, stimulates growth of wound tissues and stimulates anti-inflammatory activities thus accelerates the wound healing processes. Compared with topical agents such as hydrofiber silver or silver sulfadiazine, honey is more effective in elimination of microbial contamination, reduction of wound area, promotion of re-epithelialization. In addition, honey improves the outcome of the wound healing by reducing the incidence and excessive scar formation. Therefore, application of honey can be an effective and economical approach in managing large and complicated wounds.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of tissue viability
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    • "Partial loss of antibacterial properties of honey after heating has been reported (Molan, 1992 ). Furthermore , the increase in the TAC and mould counts in all the cassava-wheat composite bread between 4 th and 6 th day of storage could possibly be attributed to the concentration of the honey incorporated into the bread which was not up to the minimum inhibitory concentration needed after baking to prevent the growth of bacteria and moulds. Study has shown that the antimicrobial potency of honey depends on the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) (Cooper et al., 1999) and the MIC of honey has been found to be eight times higher after exposure of honey to 55°C for 8 h (Wooton et al., 1978). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of physicochemical properties (moisture content, total acidity, total phenolic content and viscosity) of honey on the microbial shelf stability of cassava-wheat composite bread was investigated. The percentage weights of the sugar (sucrose) required in the formulated recipe was substituted with different types of honey at the same level (70% sucrose: 30% honey). Freshly baked and cooled cassava-wheat composite bread loaves were stored on shelf at ambient temperature and the total aerobic bacteria and mould counts were determined after 4 and 6 days. The physicochemical analyses revealed that the total acidity, total phenolic content, moisture and viscosity of the different types of honey used varied. The physicochemical properties of the various honey used influenced the microbial shelf stability of the cassava-wheat composite bread. Highest total aerobic bacteria counts of 0.25 × 104 cfu/g was recorded for the cassava-wheat composite bread baked with Hamba honey 2 which had significant (p ≤ 0.05) lowest total acidity (42.41 mEq/kg) and total phenolic contents (48.97 GAE/100 g) as well as significant (p ≤ 0.05) highest % moisture after 4 days of storage. However, the incorporation of dark and golden honey with higher total acidity and total phenolic contents compared with other types of honey used, resulted in the least mould counts of 0.42 × 104 and 0.45 × 104 cfu/g, respectively, after 6 days of storage. The physicochemical properties of honey could enhance the microbial shelf stability of baked bread if the minimum inhibitory concentration of the honey after baking is employed.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015
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    • "The antioxidants found in honey work on wounds through two means. First, the antioxidants fight against microorganisms and decrease infections at the site of the wound [60] [61] [62]. Second, the antioxidants reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammations caused by the wound and aid in the healing process [62] [63] [64] [65]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetic wounds are unlike typical wounds in that they are slower to heal, making treatment with conventional topical medications an uphill process. Among several different alternative therapies, honey is an effective choice because it provides comparatively rapid wound healing. Although honey has been used as an alternative medicine for wound healing since ancient times, the application of honey to diabetic wounds has only recently been revived. Because honey has some unique natural features as a wound healer, it works even more effectively on diabetic wounds than on normal wounds. In addition, honey is known as an "all in one" remedy for diabetic wound healing because it can combat many microorganisms that are involved in the wound process and because it possesses antioxidant activity and controls inflammation. In this review, the potential role of honey's antibacterial activity on diabetic wound-related microorganisms and honey's clinical effectiveness in treating diabetic wounds based on the most recent studies is described. Additionally, ways in which honey can be used as a safer, faster, and effective healing agent for diabetic wounds in comparison with other synthetic medications in terms of microbial resistance and treatment costs are also described to support its traditional claims.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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