Honey may reverse antibiotic resistance, investigators find

Share this content:
Honey may reverse antibiotic resistance, investigators find
Honey may reverse antibiotic resistance, investigators find
Honey can be effective in helping to reverse antibiotic resistance, in addition to clearing infected wounds, investigators have found.

Manuka honey interferes with the growth of three types of bacteria commonly found in wounds: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Group A Streptococci and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to researchers at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. This type of honey is collected from the nectar of bees from manuka trees in New Zealand.

Honey has long been acknowledged for its antimicrobial properties. Traditional remedies containing honey were used in the topical treatment of wounds by diverse ancient civilizations.

Professor Rose Cooper's group is helping to solve this problem by investigating at a molecular level the ways in which manuka honey inhibits wound-infecting bacteria.

“Our findings with streptococci and pseudomonads suggest that manuka honey can hamper the attachment of bacteria to tissues which is an essential step in the initiation of acute infections,” Cooper explained.

“Inhibiting attachment also blocks the formation of biofilms, which can protect bacteria from antibiotics and allow them to cause persistent infections.”

Antibiotics might be more effective against drug-resistant infections if used in combination with manuka honey, Cooper added.