Randomized, Controlled Trial of Topical Exit-Site Application of Honey (Medihoney) versus Mupirocin for the Prevention of Catheter-Associated Infections in Hemodialysis Patients

Department of Renal Medicine, Level 2, Ambulatory Renal and Transplant Services Building, University of Queensland at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland 4102, Australia.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (Impact Factor: 9.34). 06/2005; 16(5):1456-62. DOI: 10.1681/ASN.2004110997
Source: PubMed


The clinical usefulness of hemodialysis catheters is limited by increased infectious morbidity and mortality. Topical antiseptic agents, such as mupirocin, are effective at reducing this risk but have been reported to select for antibiotic-resistant strains. The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy and the safety of exit-site application of a standardized antibacterial honey versus mupirocin in preventing catheter-associated infections. A randomized, controlled trial was performed comparing the effect of thrice-weekly exit-site application of Medihoney versus mupirocin on infection rates in patients who were receiving hemodialysis via tunneled, cuffed central venous catheters. A total of 101 patients were enrolled. The incidences of catheter-associated bacteremias in honey-treated (n = 51) and mupirocin-treated (n = 50) patients were comparable (0.97 versus 0.85 episodes per 1000 catheter-days, respectively; NS). On Cox proportional hazards model analysis, the use of honey was not significantly associated with bacteremia-free survival (unadjusted hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.27 to 3.24; P = 0.92). No exit-site infections occurred. During the study period, 2% of staphylococcal isolates within the hospital were mupirocin resistant. Thrice-weekly application of standardized antibacterial honey to hemodialysis catheter exit sites was safe, cheap, and effective and resulted in a comparable rate of catheter-associated infection to that obtained with mupirocin (although the study was not adequately powered to assess therapeutic equivalence). The effectiveness of honey against antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and its low likelihood of selecting for further resistant strains suggest that this agent may represent a satisfactory alternative means of chemoprophylaxis in patients with central venous catheters.

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    • "It has been used as a wound care product, and its use as a wound healing agent was reported for treating venous leg ulcers [35] [36], burns [37] [38], chronic leg ulcers [39], pressure ulcers [40] [41], and exit sites for central venous catheters [42]. Honey has several natural substances that contribute to its antimicrobial activity including an osmotic effect, a naturally low pH, and the production of hydrogen peroxide [43– 45]. "
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    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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    • "Methods to reduce rates of infection include intraluminal and extraluminal approaches. Extraluminal methods include topical antimicrobial dressings at the catheter exit site [3], and tunnelling of the catheter [4]. Catheter lock solutions and coating catheters with antimicrobial substances [5] address intraluminal sources of infection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tunnelled central venous dialysis catheter use is significantly limited by the occurrence of catheter-related infections. This randomised controlled trial assessed the efficacy of a 48 hour 70% ethanol lock vs heparin locks in prolonging the time to the first episode of catheter related blood stream infection (CRBSI). Patients undergoing haemodialysis (HD) via a tunnelled catheter were randomised 1:1 to once per week ethanol locks (with two heparin locks between other dialysis sessions) vs thrice per week heparin locks. Observed catheter days in the heparin (n=24) and ethanol (n=25) groups were 1814 and 3614 respectively. CRBSI occurred at a rate of 0.85 vs. 0.28 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin vs ethanol group by intention to treat analysis (incident rate ratio (IRR) for ethanol vs. heparin 0.17; 95%CI 0.02-1.63; p=0.12). Flow issues requiring catheter removal occurred at a rate of 1.6 vs 1.4 per 1000 catheter days in the heparin and ethanol groups respectively (IRR 0.85; 95% CI 0.20-3.5 p =0.82 (for ethanol vs heparin). Catheter survival and catheter-related blood stream infection were not significantly different but there was a trend towards a reduced rate of infection in the ethanol group. This study establishes proof of concept and will inform an adequately powered multicentre trial to definitively examine the efficacy and safety of ethanol locks as an alternative to current therapies used in the prevention of catheter-associated blood stream infections in patients dialysing with tunnelled catheters. Trial Registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000493246
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · BMC Nephrology
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    • "These investigators showed that mupirocin significantly reduced the frequency of catheter-related bacteremia and increased time to first bacteremia for patients undergoing hemodialysis carrying such catheters [20]. In a follow-up study, they showed that insertion-site care with a manuka honey (Medihoney; Medihoney Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia) was as effective as mupirocin in terms of rates of catheter-related bacteremia and infection-free survival time [11]. Although the latter study was not adequately powered to demonstrate equivalence between honey and mupirocin, the results indicate that thrice-weekly application of Medihoney to tunneled, cuffed hemodialysis catheters reduces the risk of catheter-related infections. "
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    ABSTRACT: Catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) associated with short-term central venous catheters (CVCs) in intensive care unit (ICU) patients are a major clinical problem. Bacterial colonization of the skin at the CVC insertion site is an important etiologic factor for CRBSI. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of medical-grade honey in reducing bacterial skin colonization at insertion sites. A prospective, single-center, open-label randomized controlled trial was performed at the ICU of a university hospital in The Netherlands to assess the efficacy of medical-grade honey to reduce skin colonization of insertion sites. Medical-grade honey was applied in addition to standard CVC-site dressing and disinfection with 0.5% chlorhexidine in 70% alcohol. Skin colonization was assessed on a daily basis before CVC-site disinfection. The primary end point was colonization of insertion sites with >100 colony-forming units at the last sampling before removal of the CVC or transfer of the patient from the ICU. Secondary end points were quantitative levels of colonization of the insertion sites and colonization of insertion sites stratified for CVC location. Colonization of insertion sites was not affected by the use of medical-grade honey, as 44 (34%) of 129 and 36 (34%) of 106 patients in the honey and standard care groups, respectively, had a positive skin culture (P = 0.98). Median levels of skin colonization at the last sampling were 1 (0 to 2.84) and 1 (0 to 2.70) log colony-forming units (CFUs)/swab for the honey and control groups, respectively (P = 0.94). Gender, days of CVC placement, CVC location, and CVC type were predictive for a positive skin culture. Correction for these variables did not change the effect of honey on skin-culture positivity. Medical-grade honey does not affect colonization of the skin at CVC insertion sites in ICU patients when applied in addition to standard disinfection with 0.5% chlorhexidine in 70% alcohol. Trial registration Netherlands Trial Registry, NTR1652.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Critical care (London, England)
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