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Anaerobe. 2011 Dec;17(6):375-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Apr 16.

Antibacterial activity of different honeys against pathogenic bacteria.

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Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Department of Animal Production, GR47100 Arta, Greece.


To study the antimicrobial activity of honey, 60 samples of various botanical origin were evaluated for their antimicrobial activities against 16 clinical pathogens and their respective reference strains. The microbiological quality of honeys and the antibiotic susceptibility of the various isolates were also examined. The bioassay applied for determining the antimicrobial effect employs the well-agar diffusion method and the estimation of minimum active dilution which produces a 1mm diameter inhibition zone. All honey samples, despite their origin (coniferous, citrus, thyme or polyfloral), showed antibacterial activity against the pathogenic and their respective reference strains at variable levels. Coniferous and thyme honeys showed the highest activity with an average minimum dilution of 17.4 and 19.2% (w/v) followed by citrus and polyfloral honeys with 20.8 and 23.8% respectively. Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica, Streptococcus pyogenes, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus subtilis were proven to be up to 60% more resistant than their equal reference strains thus emphasizing the variability in the antibacterial effect of honey and the need for further research.

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