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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Oct 19;13:269. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-269.

Antibacterial effects of Apis mellifera and stingless bees honeys on susceptible and resistant strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae in Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia.

Author information

1
Department of Parasitology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia. Wossensegedlemma@yahoo.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Honey is a natural substance produced by honeybees and has nutritional and therapeutic uses. In Ethiopia, honeys are used traditionally to treat wounds, respiratory infections and diarrhoea. Recent increase of drug resistant bacteria against the existing antibiotics forced investigators to search for alternative natural remedies and evaluate their potential use on scientific bases. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial effects of different types of honeys in Ethiopia which are used traditionally to treat different types of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

METHODS:

Mueller Hinton agar (70191) diffusion and nutrient broth culture medium assays were performed to determine susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and resistant clinical isolates (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA), Escherichia coli(R) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R), using honeys of Apis mellifera and stingless bees in northern and north western Ethiopia.

RESULTS:

Honey of the stingless bees produced the highest mean inhibition (22.27 ± 3.79 mm) compared to white honey (21.0 ± 2.7 mm) and yellow honey (18.0 ± 2.3 mm) at 50% (v/v) concentration on all the standard and resistant strains. Stingless bees honey was found to have Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of 6.25% (6.25 mg/ml) for 80% of the test organisms compared to 40% for white and yellow Apis mellifera honeys. All the honeys were found to have minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of 12.5% (12.5 mg/ml) against all the test organisms. Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) was susceptible to amoxicillin, methicillin, kanamycine, tetracycline, and vancomycine standard antibiotic discs used for susceptibility tests. Similarly, Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) was found susceptible for kanamycine, tetracycline and vancomycine. Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) has not been tested for amoxicillin ampicillin and methicillin. The susceptibility tests performed against Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli (R) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (R) using three of methicillin, erythromycin, ampicillin, Penicillin and amoxicillin discs were resistant. But, these drug resistant strains were susceptible to antibacterial agents found in the honeys and inhibited from 16 mm to 20.33 mm.

CONCLUSIONS:

Honeys in Ethiopia can be used as therapeutic agents for drug resistant bacteria after pharmaceutical standardization and clinical trials.

PMID:
24138782
PMCID:
PMC3817311
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6882-13-269
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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