Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal

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Antibacterial activity of honey produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) on bacterial species isolated from infected wound

Andargachew Mulu, Afework Kassu, Belay Tessema


Honey is considered to be important in traditional treatment of wound infections in many countries of the world, including Ethiopia. However, information on in vitro antibacterial activity of honey produced by honeybees on bacterial pathogens is lacking in Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to determine the antibacterial effect of honey against bacterial species isolated from wound discharges. Wound swabs and discharges were collected as part of routine clinical management of patients both from in-patient and out-patient departments of the University of Gondar Teaching Hospital. Specimens were collected and processed following standard microbiological procedures. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of honey sample on bacterial isolates were investigated by an agar dilution technique. Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant species isolated from various types of wound discharges (63%), followed by Klebsiella pneumoniea (9%), and Escherichia coli (9%). Growth retardation and complete inhibition were observed at lower concentration of 2.5% and 6% (v/v), respectively. The average MIC and MBC of honey for all tested organisms was 6.2% and 8% (v/v) of honey, respectively. Honey showed bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity on tested Gram-positive and Gramnegative isolates of bacteria from wound discharges in vitro. However, a more detailed comparative study should be made to evaluate the antibactericidal activity of honey and other antimicrobial agents currently in use.

Keywords: honey, antibacterial activity, minimum inhibitory concentrations, minimum bactericidal concentrations, infected wound

Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal Vol. 23 2005: 1-6
AJOL African Journals Online