Friday, February 03, 2012

Manuka Honey's Superbug-Fighting Properties Hailed After Welsh Study

By Madeleine Brindley, Health Editor, WalesOnline, Jan 31 2012

Research by Welsh scientists suggests “miracle” manuka honey can fight and prevent bacteria that makes wounds hard to heal.

The latest results add to the growing evidence showing how manuka honey dressings are effective in treating wounds and combating super-bugs, such as MRSA.

But researchers at Cardiff Metropolitan University, which is the forefront of such work, have advised people to only use medical grade manuka honey on wounds and not the edible forms.

The latest study, by Dr Sarah Maddocks, has found manuka honey is effective against the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, which can make wounds hard to treat.

Although it is a normal skin bacteria, when Streptococcus pyogenes infects wounds it can clump together into a biofilm, or barrier, which means antibiotics are ineffective.

Dr Maddocks said: “People with this bacteria quite often find that the wound doesn’t heal properly. The biofilm makes them especially difficult to treat with antimicrobials because the film offers a layer of extra protection.

“We have grown these biofilms in the laboratory and found the manuka honey kills off some of the bacteria but we’ve also found that it can inhibit the growth of these biofilms.”

Dr Maddocks’ study, which is published today in the online version of the Society for General Microbiology’s journal Microbiology, show very small concentrations of manuka honey prevented the development of a biofilm and treating established biofilms with honey for just two hours killed up to 85% of bacteria within them…

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