Antimicrobial resistance is an ever-increasing global issue that has the potential to overtake cancer as the leading cause of death worldwide by 2050. With the passing of the “golden age” of antibiotic discovery, identifying alternative treatments to commonly used antimicrobials is more important than ever. Honey has been used as a topical wound treatment for millennia and more recently has been formulated into a series of medical-grade honeys for use primarily for wound and burn treatment. In this systematic review, we examined the effectiveness of differing honeys as an antimicrobial treatment against a variety of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial species. We analysed 16 original research articles that included a total of 18 different types of honey against 32 different bacterial species, including numerous MDR strains. We identified that Surgihoney was the most effective honey, displaying minimum inhibitory concentrations as low as 0.1% (w/v); however, all honeys reviewed showed a high efficacy against most bacterial species analysed. Importantly, the MDR status of each bacterial strain had no impact on the susceptibility of the organism to honey. Hence, the use of honey as an antimicrobial therapy should be considered as an alternative approach for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections.
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- Antibiotic resistance
- Manuka honey
- Medical-grade honey