Antibacterial activity of honey against community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA)

Yasunori Maeda, Anne Loughrey, J. A.Philip Earle, B. Cherie Millar, Juluri R. Rao, Angela Kearns, Ogie McConville, Colin E. Goldsmith, Paul J. Rooney, James S.G. Dooley, Colm J. Lowery, William J. Snelling, Ann McMahon, David McDowell, John E. Moore*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has now been described globally, as a clinically significant pathogen, particularly associated with skin and soft tissue infections, including abscesses, cellulitis and furunculosis. The recent emergence of CA-MRSA combined with its predominant presentation associated with skin and soft tissue infection, the previous literature indicating honey as an effective treatment of healthcare-associated HA-MRSA-related wound infection, as well as honey's ease of topical application, make the current study timely and of interest to healthcare practitioners involved with wound management. Although previous studies have examined the antimicrobial activity of honey against HA-MRSA, such data are limited regarding the activity of honey against this emerging type of MRSA. CA-MRSA (n=6 isolates), was examined for its susceptibility to natural honey (n=3 honey produced from bees in Northern Ireland and one commercial French honey). Results demonstrated that all honey was able to reduce the cultural count of all CA-MRSA from approximately 106 colony-forming units (cfus) (mean=6.46 log10 cfu/g) to none detectable within 24 h of co-culture of separate CA-MRSA organisms individually with all four-honey types examined. Subsequent non-selective enrichment of honey demonstrated that inoculated honey remained positive for CA-MRSA until 72 h postinoculation, after which point no culturable organisms could be detected. This study demonstrated that, in vitro, these natural products had an antimicrobial activity against the CA-MRSA organisms tested. Further studies are now required to demonstrate if this antimicrobial activity has any clinical application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-82
    Number of pages6
    JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors thank the Belfast and District Beekeepers Association for provision of the Northern Ireland honey examined in this study. This work was funded by the Research & Development Office, HPSS(NI) through ID-RRG Grant 9.9.


    • Antibiotic resistance
    • Cellulitis
    • Community
    • Diabetic foot ulcer
    • Honey
    • MRSA
    • Novel
    • Wound


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