Objective: We previously reported on the ability of SurgihoneyRO (SHRO), an engineered honey, to prevent biofilm formation in vitro, but data were lacking regarding the activity against preformed biofilms. This study aims to assess whether SHRO has any antibacterial activity against mature, preformed biofilms and whether there is any evidence to support the observed clinical effectiveness when SHRO has been used anecdotally on acute and chronic wounds where biofilm is most likely present.
Method: We tested the in vitro antibacterial activity of SHRO against the mature biofilms of 16 clinically relevant wound pathogens, in terms of impacts on biofilm seeding and biofilm biomass. The honey was serially double diluted from 1:3 down to 1:6144, and the lowest dilution achieving a statistically significant reduction in biomass of ≥50%, compared with untreated controls, was recorded.
Results: All 16 bacterial isolates were susceptible to SHRO, with reduced biofilm seeding observed for all, and percentage reductions ranging from 58% (ACI_C59) to 94.3% (MDR_B) for the strongest concentration of honey (1:3). Furthermore at this concentration, biofilm seeding of the test biofilm was reduced by 80-94.3% (when compared with the positive control) for 12/16 isolates. We additionally demonstrated that SHRO has antibiofilm impacts, with the 24 hour exposure resulting in disruption of the biofilm, reduced seeding and reduced biomass.
Conclusion: SHRO is effective at reducing seeding of preformed biofilms of clinically important wound pathogens in vitro, and also has antibiofilm activity. This supports the anecdotal clinical data for antibiofilm efficacy, and supports the use of SHRO as a promising topical wound care agent.
Keywords: antimicrobial; biofilms; honey; hydrogen peroxide; minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC); wounds.