Introduction: Honey has a wide range of antimicrobial activity. All previous studies have considered honey's effect on a single microbe. The present study investigated activity of honey towards a high dose of single or polymicrobial culture.
Material and methods: 10 µl specimens of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes), Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Candida albicans (C. albicans) were cultured in 10 ml of 10-100% (wt/v) honey diluted in broth. Six types of polymicrobial microbial cultures were prepared by culturing the isolates with each other onto broth (control) and broth containing various concentrations of honey (10-100% wt/v). Microbial growth was assessed on solid plate media after 24 h incubation.
Results: Honey (30-70%) prevents growth of 10 µl specimens of all the isolates. Greater reduction in growth of E. coli was observed when cultured with S. aureus. Culturing of S. aureus with S. pyogenes, C. albicans, or E. coli increased its sensitivity to honey. S. aureus and S. pyogenes increased sensitivity of C. albicans to honey while E. coli and C. albicans decreased sensitivity of S. pyogenes.
Conclusions: It might be concluded that honey prevents and inhibits growth of single and polymicrobial pathogenic cultures. Polymicrobial culture affects growth of the isolates and increases their sensitivity to honey.
Keywords: Candida albicans; Escherichia coli; Staphylococcus aureus; Streptococcus pyogenes; honey.