Friday, September 28, 2018

Manuka Honey Can Treat Recurrent Inflammation of Eyelids Caused by Mites (Ocular Demodex)

Comparing the in vitro effects of MGO™ Manuka honey and tea tree oil on ocular Demodex viability

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Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2018 Jul 6. pii: S1367-0484(18)30776-8


To compare the in vitro antiparasitic effects of MGO™ Manuka honey and tea tree oil against ocular Demodex.


Fifty-two viable Demodex mites were acquired from the epilated eyelashes of 9 participants with blepharitis and symptomatic dry eye. Viable mites were randomised to one of five treatment groups: cyclodextrin-complexed and uncomplexed Manuka Honey, 100% and 50% tea tree oil, and no treatment. Following treatment application, mite viability was assessed for 240 min, based on limb and body movement and/or the development of a crenated/translucent appearance. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was then performed.


The log-rank test demonstrated a significant treatment effect on the survival distribution of Demodex mites (p < 0.001). Bonferroni-corrected post-hoc pairwise analysis showed that all treatments except for uncomplexed honey effected lower survival probabilities than the untreated group (all p < 0.001). Among the four treatments, survival probabilities were lowest with 100% tea tree oil (all p < 0.001), and highest with uncomplexed honey (all p ≤ 0.001). No difference was observed between complexed honey and 50% tea tree oil (p = 0.81).


The in vitro efficacy of cyclodextrin-complexed Manuka honey was comparable with 50% tea tree oil, an established treatment for ocular Demodex. The findings support future clinical trials investigating the therapeutic effects of complexed honey in demodectic blepharitis patients.

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