Pharmaceutical International News - April 2011
Honey to Treat Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Posted by Pharmaceutical International's Research Correspondent on 13/04/2011 - 16:30:00
Drug-resistant conditions could be treated by manuka honey, a group of scientists has put forward.
That's after trials current out under lab conditions, in which the honey demonstrated its ability to get rid of bacteria both within the human body and on physical surfaces.
That ability harnesses the power of the honey to deconstruct the bacteria's antibiotic firewall which, normally, the most powerful drugs are unable to breach.
On that basis, manuka has the potential to treat the most lethal of bugs, like MRSA, according to data given at a meeting of the Society for General Microbiology.
Honey Bacteria Treatment
Manuka honey already exists, in modified form, within dedicated antiseptics. While it can't treat every bacteria type, it's extremely effective within a restricted bacteria range.
To discover whether the substance could also fight infections beyond the grasp of antibiotic drug treatments, the researchers, including UK representative Professor Rose Cooper, put it to the test. Two bacteria forms were looked at, pseudomonades and streptococci. They observed that the honey could stop bacteria binding to tissue - a key infection step.
Simultaneously, they witnessed that resistance to antibiotics could, in effect, be turned around in the drugs' favour. That opens up a future path for both honey and drugs to be administered to achieve the optimal patient outcome.
"This indicates that existing antibiotics may be more effective against drug-resistant infections if used in combination with manuka honey", Professor Cooper explained.
The advent of human-based clinical trials is a future prospect for the team and these, according to Cooper, will involve new dosage blends to further explore the drug-resistant bacteria theme.
"What we need to do now is look at more combinations with antibiotics and do some clinical work in patients", she said, adding: "It could be applied topically to wounds and used in combination with antibiotics to treat resistant infections."
Manuka honey is sourced from nectar that bees collect from New Zealand's manuka trees.
Honey image copyright Mateusz Atroszko
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