Mānuka honey shows potential benefits in treatment for drug resistant lung infection

October 12, 2022

UK scientists from Aston University have demonstrated the potential benefits nebulisation treatment using New Zealand mānuka honey to support the effect of antibiotics to treat a drug resistant lung infection; that can be fatal in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.

New Zealand mānuka honey is widely known by researchers to have extensive potential benefits to support the body, but more recently has been identified for its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.

The Aston University scientists led by have found that mānuka honey has the potential to kill a number of drug resistant bacterial infections such as Mycobacterium abscessus – which usually affects patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis.

The scientists combined the antibiotic amikacin with mānuka honey as a novel treatment for Mycobacterium abscessus. It is applied topically for maximum antibacterial action. Using the mānuka honey combination resulted in an eight-fold reduction in the dosage of the antibiotic.

“So far treatment of Mycobacterium abscessus pulmonary infections can be problematic due to its drug resistant nature. The variety of antibiotics required to combat infection result in severe side effects.”said lead author and PhD researcher Victoria Nolan.

It has been reported that the use of this potential treatment combining amikacin and high MGO mānuka honey shows great promise and has the potential to significantly reduce amikacin-associated hearing loss and greatly improve the quality of life of so many patients.

Dr Jonathan Cox, senior lecturer in microbiology at Aston University, said: “By combining a totally natural ingredient, such as manuka honey, with amikacin, one of the most important yet toxic drugs used for treating Mycobacterium abscessus, we have found a way to potentially kill off these bacteria with eight times less drug than before.”

Dr Cox also states  “It paves the way for future experiments and we hope that with funding we can move towards clinical trials that could result in a change in strategy for the treatment of this debilitating infection.”

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