Humans have been reaping the benefits of antibiotics for decades, but doctors caution the golden age of these drugs may quickly be coming to an end. The rise of resistant organisms has limited the effectiveness of antibiotics and sent scientists scrambling for an alternative. Now Researchers at Sweden’s Lund University have identified bacteria in raw honey that could make it an effective tool for combating other bacteria.
Thirteen lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies. The group of bacteria counteracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA in lab experiments. The bacteria, mixed into honey, has healed horses with persistent wounds. The formula has previously been shown to protect against bee colony collapse.
Raw honey has been used against infections for millennia, before honey as we now know it was manufactured and sold in stores. So what is the key to its antimicrobial properties?
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a unique group of 13 lactic acid bacteria found in fresh honey, from the honey stomach of bees. The bacteria produce a myriad of active antimicrobial compounds.
These lactic acid bacteria have now been tested on severe human wound pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), among others. When the lactic acid bacteria were applied to the pathogens in the laboratory, it counteracted all of them.
While the effect on human bacteria has only been tested in a lab environment thus far, the lactic acid bacteria has been applied directly to horses with persistent wounds. The lactic acid bacteria was mixed with honey and …
Researchers also speculate that humans in the past have benefited from these bacteria in raw honey, but modern filtered honey lacks the organisms. It’s possible the substances created by the bacteria could be isolated and replicated, or the bacteria themselves could be an effective treatment vector. The wider spectrum of antimicrobial agents should also make it harder for other bacteria to adapt. The next step is to use the lactic acid bacteria to treat topical infections in humans.
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