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.
Tobias C Olofsson, Èile Butler, Pawel Markowicz, Christina Lindholm, Lennart Larsson, Alejandra Vásquez. Lactic acid bacterial symbionts in honeybees - an unknown key to honey’s antimicrobial and therapeutic activities. International Wound Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/iwj.12345Working bees on honey cells (stock image). Raw honey has been used against infections for millennia, before honey – as we now know it – was manufactured and sold in stores. Credit: © Dmytro Smaglov / Fotolia