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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Feb;30(2):167-71. doi: 10.1007/s10096-010-1065-1. Epub 2010 Oct 10.

The effect of manuka honey on the structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Centre for Biomedical Sciences, Cardiff School of Health Sciences, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 2YB, UK.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of manuka honey on the structural integrity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of manuka honey for P. aeruginosa were determined by a microtitre plate method, and the survival of bacteria exposed to a bactericidal concentration of manuka honey was monitored. The effect of manuka honey on the structure of the bacteria was investigated using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM, respectively). The MIC and MBC values of manuka honey against P. aeruginosa were 9.5% (w/v) and 12% (w/v) respectively; a time-kill curve demonstrated a bactericidal rather than a bacteriostatic effect, with a 5 log reduction estimated within 257 min. Using SEM, loss of structural integrity and marked changes in cell shape and surface were observed in honey-treated cultures. With TEM, these changes were confirmed, and evidence of extensive cell disruption and lysis was found. Manuka honey does not induce the same structural changes in P. aeruginosa as those observed in staphylococci. Our results indicate that manuka honey has the potential to be an effective inhibitor of P. aeruginosa.

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