Sunday, December 11, 2005

Trial Proves Honey's Value in Stopping Infection

Townsville Bulletin/Townsville Sun (Australia), 9/15/05

HONEY is mentioned in the Bible, the Koran and the Torah as being used for healing purposes.

Now, Australian researchers have found it's just as effective as an antibiotic cream to prevent infections when applied to catheter sites in kidney dialysis patients.

Kidney specialist David Johnson said honey also had an advantage over the commonly used antibiotic ointment, mupirocin, in that hospital 'superbugs' had not developed resistance to it.

Nephrologists, like Professor Johnson, have been concerned that bugs such as Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as Golden staph, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) have developed resistance to mupirocin.

"Honey covers a broader spectrum of bugs. It covers bacteria and fungi as well as many super-resistant bugs like VRE and Golden staph," said Professor Johnson, of Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"There are no documented cases of honey-resistant bacteria."

Prof Johnson and colleagues compared a specially formulated honey, sold as Medihoney, with mupirocin cream applied to catheter sites in patients with renal failure undergoing haemodialysis.

The results of the trial, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, prompted the hospital's renal unit, after consultation with infectious disease specialists, to switch to Medihoney.

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