Manuka Honey Inhibits the Development of Streptococcus pyogenes Biofilms and Causes Reduced Expression of Two Fibronectin Binding Proteins
Microbiology, 2012 Mar;158(Pt 3):781-90
Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus; GAS) is always of clinical significance in wounds where it can initiate infection, destroy skin grafts and persist as a biofilm.
Manuka honey has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and its use in the clinical setting is beginning to gain acceptance with the continuing emergence of antibiotic resistance and the inadequacy of established systemic therapies; novel inhibitors may affect clinical practice.
In this study, the effect of manuka honey on S. pyogenes (M28) was investigated in vitro with planktonic and biofilm cultures using MIC, MBC, microscopy and aggregation efficiency.
Bactericidal effects were found in both planktonic cultures and biofilms, although higher concentrations of manuka honey were needed to inhibit biofilms. Abrogation of adherence and intercellular aggregation was observed. Manuka honey permeated 24 h established biofilms of S. pyogenes, resulting in significant cell death and dissociation of cells from the biofilm. Sublethal concentrations of manuka honey effectively prevented the binding of S. pyogenes to the human tissue protein fibronectin, but did not inhibit binding to fibrinogen. The observed inhibition of fibronectin binding was confirmed by a reduction in the expression of genes encoding two major fibronectin-binding streptococcal surface proteins, Sof and SfbI.
These findings indicate that manuka honey has potential in the topical treatment of wounds containing S. pyogenes.