Honey could be successful in treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria which infects many wounds, report scientists from universities in Wales and New Zealand.
In a report published in this month's Journal of Applied Microbiology, scientists from partner institutions UWIC (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff), University of Wales College of Medicine (UWCM) in Cardiff and the University of Waikato, New Zealand write that their research shows wound infecting bacteria is sensitive to the antioxidant-rich food.
The team tested two New Zealand honeys and an artificial honey solution for their ability to inhibit bacteria with the potential to cause wound infections. Eighteen strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococus aureus (MRSA), seven strains of vancomycin-sensitive enterococci (VSE) and 20 strains of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) were tested.
"For all of the strains tested, the lowest inhibitory concentrations of the two natural honeys were at least three times lower than that of the artificial honey, and sometimes ten times lower. This showed that the mode of inhibition was not exclusively due to the osmolarity of the sugars present. Comparison between the ability to inhibit antibiotic sensitive bacteria and antibiotic resistant bacteria showed no significant difference," the researchers reported.
They concluded that honey may be an effective treatment of wounds colonised by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.