PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
 
J R Soc Med. 1999 June; 92(6): 283–285.
PMCID: PMC1297205

Antibacterial activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds.

Abstract

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.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (411K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Zumla A, Lulat A. Honey--a remedy rediscovered. J R Soc Med. 1989 Jul;82(7):384–385. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chirife J, Scarmato G, Herszage L. Scientific basis for use of granulated sugar in treatment of infected wounds. Lancet. 1982 Mar 6;1(8271):560–561. [PubMed]
  • Chirife J, Herszage L, Joseph A, Kohn ES. In vitro study of bacterial growth inhibition in concentrated sugar solutions: microbiological basis for the use of sugar in treating infected wounds. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1983 May;23(5):766–773. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Efem SE. Clinical observations on the wound healing properties of honey. Br J Surg. 1988 Jul;75(7):679–681. [PubMed]
  • Cavanagh D, Beazley J, Ostapowicz F. Radical operation for carcinoma of the vulva. A new approach to wound healing. J Obstet Gynaecol Br Commonw. 1970 Nov;77(11):1037–1040. [PubMed]
  • Armon PJ. The use of honey in the treatment of infected wounds. Trop Doct. 1980 Apr;10(2):91–91. [PubMed]
  • Branicki FJ. Surgery in western Kenya. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1981 Sep;63(5):348–352. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Willix DJ, Molan PC, Harfoot CG. A comparison of the sensitivity of wound-infecting species of bacteria to the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and other honey. J Appl Bacteriol. 1992 Nov;73(5):388–394. [PubMed]
  • Allen KL, Molan PC, Reid GM. A survey of the antibacterial activity of some New Zealand honeys. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1991 Dec;43(12):817–822. [PubMed]
  • Spencer RC, Wheat PF, Magee JT, Brown EH. A three year survey of clinical isolates in the United Kingdom and their antimicrobial susceptibility. J Antimicrob Chemother. 1990 Sep;26(3):435–446. [PubMed]
  • Postmes T, van den Bogaard AE, Hazen M. Honey for wounds, ulcers, and skin graft preservation. Lancet. 1993 Mar 20;341(8847):756–757. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press