The effects of manuka honey on Clostridium difficile
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The era of antibiotics is quietly drawing to a close. Traditional medicines that have been tried and tested for millennia are returning and replacing conventional medicine. At the forefront of this resurgence is honey. Overwhelming efforts are being made to reveal how the exact mechanisms work and why some honeys have more potent antibacterial activity than others, in addition to testing antimicrobial effects on a range of potential pathogens. In this study, manuka honey (currently marketed as a Medical Grade Honey) was used to determine antibacterial effects on biofilm biomass formed by the enteric Gram positive anaerobe Clostridium difficile. Artificially created anaerobic environments were made to elucidate the normal growth patterns of biofilms and how exposure to honey affected biofilm biomass The bacteria was exposed to manuka honey first to prevent biofilm development over 24 hours and 48 hours by incubating honey with inoculated media and secondly by exposing increasing concentrations of honey to an already established biofilm by incubating inoculated media for 48 hours, removing planktonic cells and replacing with increasing concentrations of honey. It was found that honey does have an antibacterial effect on C. difficile;20 % w/v diluted honey was most effective in preventing biofilm formation especially after 48 hour incubation. Higher concentrations (>50% w/v) were found to have significantly less efficacy. It was also found that honey applied to already established biofilms had less antibacterial activity as biofilm biomass was reduced by 71% to 46%, compared with preventative assays that reduced biomass by up to 97% and 83%. Therefore it is concluded that Clostridium difficile is susceptible to manuka honey and that different application methods can have varying antibacterial activity. Manuka honey has the potential to be implicated in clinical settings where patients are at high risks of developing Antibiotic Associated Diarrhoea and subsequent Pseudomembranous Colitis.
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
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