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Study reveals Sumra honey can inhibit the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


In this study, researchers from Saudi Arabia compared the antibacterial activity of Saudi honeys with known geographical origins with that of medically graded Manuka honey. Their findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Honey has been gaining recognition as a potential therapeutic agent for wound infections.
  • While Manuka honey is known as a powerful antibacterial, lesser-known honeys have not yet been tested against microbial pathogens that cause wound infections.
  • The researchers collected 10 Saudi honeys from different geographical locations and screened their antibacterial potential against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).
  • They then compared the honeys’ performance with that of Manuka honey (UMF-12).
  • The Saudi honey with the highest antibacterial activity was further evaluated for its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against ten MRSA clinical isolates and three American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) reference strains.
  • The researchers reported that the Saudi honeys exhibited variable antibacterial activity against the test isolates but failed to stop the growth of MSSA and MRSA.
  • Only Sumra and Talha honeys showed zones of inhibition at 50 percent dilutions (weight/volume) in catalase solution, which meant that both have weak non-peroxide activity (NPA).
  • On the other hand, Sumra honey showed a larger zone of inhibition against MSSA and MRSA than Manuka honey at 50 and 25 percent dilutions (w/v) in distilled water.
  • This suggests that Sumra honey has a higher hydrogen peroxide-related antibacterial activity or total antibacterial activity than Manuka honey.
  • Sumra honey also inhibited the growth of 10 MRSA clinical isolates plus the ATCC reference strains at a lower concentration (12 percent v/v) than Manuka honey (14 percent v/v).
  • Both honeys had the same MIC (15 percent v/v) against Escherichia coli.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that Sumra honey can be used as an alternative medicine for wound infections and burns, as these require additional hydrogen peroxide-related antibacterial activity.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Hussain MB, Kamel YM, Ullah Z, Jiman-Fatani AAM, Ahmad AS. IN VITRO EVALUATION OF METHICILLIN-RESISTANT AND METHICILLIN-SENSITIVE STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS SUSCEPTIBILITY TO SAUDI HONEYS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 25 July 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2603-8

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