Fighting bugs with bugs: 'beeglue' could prove effective in fighting MRSA

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Bees from the Pacific Northwest could be excreting a sticky, but effective, treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to the latest buzz in biomedical research.

Propolis, or “Beeglue,” is a naturally produced antiseptic adhesive used by bees to patch up their hives and prevent microbes from infecting the swarm. It long has been used as a folk remedy for the treatment of a variety of ailments, but lately, researchers at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences in Scotland have been examining its MRSA-fighting abilities. In early tests, beeglue was pitted against 15 strains of MRSA obtained from various British hospitals. The results were  encouraging, according to researchers.

Two compounds found within the beeglue, Propolin C and Propolin D, showed strong activity in fighting all 15 strains of MRSA, according to the results of the study. Researchers will continue testing these compounds to discover how they work, and whether they can be turned into an effective template for improved anti-MRSA agents. The report appears in the Phytotherapy Research journal.