Clostridium difficile is the cause of the nosocomial C. difficile infection (CDI). The conventional antibiotics used in CDI therapy are often unsuccessful, and recurrent infections may occur. Biofilm formation by C. difficile is associated with chronic or recurrent infections; biofilms may contribute to virulence and impaired antimicrobial efficacy. Manuka honey, derived from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), is known to exhibit antimicrobial properties that are associated with its significant content of methylglyoxal, a natural antibiotic. The aim of the present study was to determine the antimicrobial effect of Manuka honey on clinical C. difficile strains belonging to four prominent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotypes (RTs) (RT017, RT023, RT027 and RT046) and on their biofilm formation in vitro. Minimal inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MICs and MBCs, respectively) were determined using the broth dilution method. The biomass of the biofilm and the clearance of C. difficile biofilms by Manuka honey were determined using the crystal violet staining method. The MIC and MBC of Manuka honey for C. difficile strains were equal at 6.25% (v/v). PCR RT027 strains produced more biofilm in vitro than the other examined strains. Manuka honey effectively inhibited biofilm formation by C. difficile strains of different PCR RTs.
Keywords: Clostridium Difficile; Crystal Violet; Methylglyoxal; Minimal Bactericidal Concentration; Toxic Megacolon.