How Bulk Manuka Honey May Enhance Antibiotics in Wounds

How Bulk Manuka Honey May Enhance Antibiotics in Wounds

June 16, 2023

Bulk manuka honey is a natural healing agent, and has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria in vitro. It has also been demonstrated to be effective at killing biofilm-embedded bacteria and may enhance the antibacterial effects of antibiotics in wounds.

Why is Manuka honey so expensive?

Various types of honey have been found to contain unique antibacterial compounds, including methylglyoxal, which disrupts bacterial flagella and inhibits their ability to adhere to surfaces. Methylglyoxal has been found to inactivate defensin-1, a naturally occurring human mucin, which may contribute to the antibacterial activity of Manuka honey [28].

In addition to its antibacterial properties, Manuka honey has been shown to elicit an immunomodulatory effect when applied topically to infected skin. In one study, topical application of Manuka honey induced an increase in TNF-a release and an increase in IL-1 release after 24 h of culture, while a control treatment did not produce any significant changes [29].

Commercial wound-care products that incorporate honey include Medihoney dressings, Sweetbio membranes, and a line of ManukaCare products from Capilano Honey Co. These dressings are designed to be temporary coverings that must be removed and replaced during wound care.

In one study, varying concentrations of Manuka honey ranging from 5+ to 15+ UMF were incorporated into cryogels and electrospun templates fabricated from silk fibroin. The amount of honey incorporated did not influence the morphology of either the cryogels or the electrospun templates, but bacterial inhibition studies showed that both the cryogels and the electrospun templates had greater bactericidal properties than did a sterile disc swabbed with a similar amount of Manuka honey.

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