Background: Multidrug resistance is a global health issue. Hence integration of traditional medicine like honey and modern medicine could be a best option in the treatment of patients infected with drug resistant bacteria. Despite the multi floral and huge honey production in the region, there are no studies that evaluate the antibacterial activity of honey against multidrug resistant bacteria.
Objective: To evaluate the antibacterial activity of honey against multidrug resistant human pathogenic bacterial isolates of wound and ear infections.
Methods: Red and white honeys were obtained from three districts Eastern Zone of Tigray namely Temben, Atsbi and Samre. The antibacterial potential of these honeys was determined against multidrug resistant isolates of clinical isolates of bacterial species of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, Coagulase negative Staphylococcus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Klebsiella pneumonia, and five controls bacterial using tube dilutions methods. Undiluted and twofold serial dilutions of honeys were tested to determine minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) using broth tube dilution methods through visual inspection and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) was determined by sub-culturing tubes showing no visible sign of growth/turbidity in MIC.
Results: The mean MIC of red honeys for control and test bacteria was 7.7-8.9 and 12.6-17.9 % (v/v) respectively. Whilst the MIC of white honey was 12.2-12.5 % (v/v) for control and 16.1-27.7 % (v/v) for test bacteria. Mean MBC of red honeys for control and test isolates was from 25-40 to 30.4-62.5 % (v/v) respectively, and 40-55 and 60.7-75 % (v/v) for white honeys. Honey collected from Samre area has shown better antibacterial activity than other sites. Similarly red honeys from all areas were found to have better antibacterial activity against the multidrug bacteria than the white honey. Over all the MIC and MBC of all isolates was between 6.25-50 and 12.5-100 % (v/v) respectively.
Conclusion: Red honey from all sites showed better antibacterial activity than the white honey. Likewise, honey from Samre area showed better antibacterial activity than Temben and Atsbi districts. All collected honeys showed varied bacteriostatic and bactericidal activities, and none of the isolates was resistant to tested honeys.
Keywords: Control bacteria; Honey; MBC; MIC; Test bacteria.