Antibacterial Potency of Honey
Int J Microbiol. 2019 Jun 2;2019:2464507
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Despite the developments in controlling infectious disease around the world, they are still the second biggest cause of morbidity and mortality due in part to the increase in drug resistance among large numbers of the bacterial strains. This means that new strategies are needed to prevent and treat infectious disease. As a result, several ancient methods have been re-evaluated and the substances/procedures employed historically to cure diseases are now attracting renewed scientific attention. Honey is one such product that used to be widely used to combat bacteria. This review covers the antibacterial activity of honey, its use in the treatment of infection and diseases, and the features that are relevant to its activity…
Comparison of the Antibacterial Activity of Honey with Antibiotics
As the antibacterial effects of honey have been shown to be quite potent, a number of studies have sought to draw comparisons with the activities of conventional antibiotics. This is especially important since the current rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant microbial species highlights the need to source other antibacterial substances. One study compared the activity against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. of gentamicin and three kinds of pure honey obtained from Ibadan and Abeokuta in south west Nigeria, using undiluted and fresh aqueous dilutions of 1 : 2, 1 : 4, and 1 : 6 in an agar diffusion method. Undiluted honey and its 1 : 2 to 1 : 6 aqueous dilutions showed activity of 100% and 96.4%, respectively, against P. aeruginosa and E. coli. However, gentamicin showed generally lower antibacterial activity when used in concentrations of 8.0 and 4.0 μg/ml.
In another study, thirty samples of honey from different parts of Oman were investigated for their activity against S. aureus. Of these, 43% of honey samples showed excellent anti S. aureus activity. Thirty-eight percent of S. aureus strains were killed by 50% honey in 30 minutes and 45% after one hour. Gentamicin at the concentration of 4 µg/ml killed 70% of S. aureus after 30 min and 88% after one hour, whereas the percentage increased when a combination of honey and gentamicin was used (92% and 93% at 30 minutes and one hour, respectively). In contrast, Agbaje et al., reported that 100% honey might not proffer a total solution to the current problems facing bacterial chemotherapy when compared to 0.2% ciprofloxacin and 2.5% tetracycline.
Overall, the antibacterial activity of honey has been proven although there are contrasting results between researchers as to what concentration is effective and what is not. It is clear that this feature is due to more than one factor. More research is needed in this area. Moreover, the world today needs further assessments of natural substances that can be used to combat microorganisms with minimal side effects or consequences of overdose or high consumption.