Antibacterial synergic effect of honey from two stingless bees: Scaptotrigona bipunctata Lepeletier, 1836, and S. postica Latreille, 1807

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 12;6:21641. doi: 10.1038/srep21641.

Abstract

Several studies have tested antimicrobial activity of combinations of honey and various substances. In this study, we tested a combination of two stingless bee honeys against various bacterial strains. In particular: the antibacterial activity of honeys produced by Scaptotrigona bipunctata (SB) and Scaptotrigona postica (SP) was evaluated against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains by agar well diffusion assays, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assessment, construction of growth and viability curves and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The interaction of the two honeys was also evaluated by the checkerboard assay. Inhibition zones ranged from 8 to 22 mm. The MIC values of the individual honeys ranged from 0.62 to 10% (v v(-1)) and decreased to 1/4 to 1/32 when the honeys were combined. SEM images showed division inhibition and cell wall disruption for the SB and SP honeys, respectively, and these alterations were observed in same field when the SB and SP honeys were combined. This study demonstrated that the natural honeys possess in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. Combination of the SB and SP honeys could lead to the development of new broad-spectrum antimicrobials that have the potential to prevent the emergence of resistant bacterial strains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bees
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Positive Bacteria / ultrastructure
  • Honey*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / ultrastructure
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents