Mol Med Rep. 2015 Sep 1
Methicillin‑resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is difficult to treat using available antibiotic agents. Honeybee venom has been widely used as an oriental treatment for several inflammatory diseases and bacterial infections. The venom contains predominantly biologically active compounds, however, the therapeutic effects of such materials when used to treat MRSA infections have not been investigated extensively.
The present study evaluated bee venom and its principal active component, melittin, in terms of their antibacterial activities and in vivo protection against MRSA infections. In vitro, bee venom and melittin exhibited comparable levels of antibacterial activity, which was more marked against MRSA strains, compared with other Gram‑positive bacteria.
When MRSA‑infected mice were treated with bee venom or melittin, only the latter animals were successfully rescued from MRSA‑ induced bacteraemia or exhibited recovery from MRSA‑infected skin wounds.
Together, the data of the present study demonstrated for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that melittin may be used as a promising antimicrobial agent to enhance the healing of MRSA‑induced wounds.