The medicinal qualities of honey are well known, but it's now been shown that manuka honey has the potential to kill a number of drug resistant bacterial infections such as Mycobacterium abscessus - which usually affects patients with cystic fibrosis.
Combining Manuka honey with a common drug was able to help clear a bacterial infection that’s drug resistant and occasionally lethal. Furthermore the addition of the honey seemed to ameliorate harmful side effects of the drug, as well as significantly reduce the necessary dosage used in the treatment.
Manuka honey, made in Australia and New Zealand from bees browsing on the Leptospermum scoparium tree, is long known to have wide ranging medicinal properties, but more recently has been identified for its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Now scientists have found that manuka honey has the potential to kill a number of drug resistant bacterial infections such as Mycobacterium abscessus - which usually affects patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis - and could therefore be beneficial to more than 100,000 people worldwide.
“By combining a totally natural ingredient such as manuka honey with amikacin, one of the most important yet toxic drugs used for treating Mycobacterium abscessus, we have found a way to potentially kill off these bacteria with eight times less drug than before,” said Dr. Jonathan Cox, co-author of the study.
“I am delighted with the outcome of this research because it paves the way for future experiments and we hope that with funding we can move towards clinical trials that could result in a change in strategy for the treatment of this debilitating infection.”
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