In vitro assessment of the antimicrobial potential of honey on common human pathogens


Abstract Background: Honey produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) is one of the ancient traditional medicines used for treatment and prevention of various illnesses. Objective: To assess the antimicrobial potential of honey on some common bacterial pathogen. Methods: This experimental study was conducted in Jimma University, from February 10 – March 14, 2003. The Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations/ MIC and Minimal Bactericidal Concentrations/ MBC of two honey samples on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Shigella shiga, Klebsiella aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris and Proteus mirabilis was investigated by an agar dilution technique. Results: The MIC of honey for 90% of test organism was 6.25% and 7.5% (V/V) for P.aeruginosa. The MBC of honey for 70% of the test organisms was again 6.25% (V/V). The MBC of honey for S.shiga (Standard test organism) and P. aeruginosa (both clinical isolates and control strain) was 7.5% (V/V). Conclusions: Honey produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera) has both bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity when tested in vitro. However, Pharmacological standardization and clinical evaluation on the effect of honey are essential before using honey as a preventive and curative measure to common diseases related to the tested bacterial species. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2004;18(2):107-111]