Multi-drug resistance in nosocomial pathogens is a continually evolving and alarming problem in health care units. Since ancient times, honey has been used successfully for the treatment of a broad spectrum of infections with no risk of resistance development.
This study investigated the antibacterial activity of two natural honeys, namely honeydew and manuka, against 20 nosocomial multi-drug resistant Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (S. maltophilia) isolates from cancer patients.
An antibiotic susceptibility test was carried out using the disk diffusion method with 20 antibiotic disks. The antibacterial activity of honey was determined using a broth dilution method. The concentration of honey used in the study was within the range of 3.75% to 25% (w/v). All 20 clinical isolates were multi-drug resistant against 11 to 19 antibiotics.
The MICs for honeydew honey ranged from 6.25% to 17.5%, while those for active manuka honey ranged from 7.5% to 22.5%. Honeydew honey had lower MICs than manuka honey against 16 of the tested isolates.
This study showed that Slovak honeydew honey has exceptional antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant S. maltophilia isolates and was more efficient than manuka honey (UMF 15+).
Honeydew honey with strong antibacterial activity could be used as a potential agent to eradicate multi-drug resistant clinical isolates.