Effect of United States buckwheat honey on antibiotic-resistant hospital acquired pathogens

Pan Afr Med J. 2016 Dec 6:25:212. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2016.25.212.10414. eCollection 2016.


Introduction: Due to an upsurge in antibiotic-resistant infections and lack of therapeutic options, new approaches are needed for treatment. Honey may be one such potential therapeutic option. We investigated the susceptibility of hospital acquired pathogens to four honeys from Wisconsin, United States, and then determined if the antibacterial effect of each honey against these pathogens is primarily due to the high sugar content.

Methods: Thirteen pathogens including: four Clostridium difficile, two Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, two Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, two Vancomycin-resistance Enterococcus, one Enterococcus faecalis and one Klebsiella pneumoniae were exposed to 1-50% (w/v) four Wisconsin honeys and Artificial honey to determine their minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) using the broth dilution method.

Results: Buckwheat honey predominantly exhibited a bactericidal mode of action against the tested pathogens, and this varied with each pathogen. C. difficile isolates were more sensitive to the Wisconsin buckwheat honey as compared to the other pathogens. Artificial honey at 50% (w/v) failed to kill any of the pathogens. The high sugar content of Wisconsin buckwheat honey is not the only factor responsible for its bactericidal activity.

Conclusion: Wisconsin buckwheat honey has the potential to be an important addition to therapeutic armamentarium against resistant pathogens and should be investigated further.

Keywords: Buckwheat honey; antibiotic-resistant; nosocomial pathogen; susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • United States
  • Wisconsin


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents