Antibacterial activity and chemical characteristics of several Western Australian honeys compared to manuka honey and pasture honey

Arch Microbiol. 2017 Mar;199(2):347-355. doi: 10.1007/s00203-016-1308-3. Epub 2016 Oct 26.


The physicochemical parameters and antibacterial activity of 10 Western Australian (WA) and two comparator honeys were determined. Honeys showed a pH range of 4.0-4.7, colour range of 41.3-470.7 mAU, methylglyoxal levels ranging from 82.2 to 325.9 mg kg-1 and hydrogen peroxide levels after 2 h of 22.7-295.5 µM. Antibacterial activity was assessed by the disc diffusion assay, phenol equivalence assay, determination of minimum inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations and a time-kill assay. Activity was shown for all honeys by one or more method, however, activity varied according to which assay was used. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for WA honeys against 10 organisms ranged from 4.0 to >32.0% (w/v). Removal of hydrogen peroxide activity by catalase resulted in decreased activity for several honeys. Overall, the data showed that honeys in addition to those derived from Leptospermum spp. have antimicrobial activity and should not be overlooked as potential sources of clinically useful honey.

Keywords: Apitherapy; Banksia; Eucalyptus; Jarrah; Marri; Methylglyoxal.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Honey* / analysis
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / analysis
  • Western Australia


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase