In vitro synergy between manuka honey and amikacin against Mycobacterium abscessus complex shows potential for nebulisation therapy

September 7, 2022

is an opportunistic human pathogen of increasing concern, due to its ability to cause aggressive pulmonary infections (especially in cystic fibrosis patients), as well as skin and soft tissue infections. is intrinsically drug resistant and treatment regimens are lengthy, consisting of multiple antibiotics with severe side effects and poor patient success rates. New and novel strategies are urgently required to combat these infections. One such strategy thus far overlooked for mycobacteria is manuka honey. For millennia manuka honey has been shown to have wide ranging medicinal properties, which have more recently been identified for its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Here we demonstrate that manuka honey can be used to inhibit and a variety of drug resistant clinical isolates . We also demonstrate using a microbroth dilution checkerboard assay that manuka honey works synergistically with amikacin, which is one of the current front line antibiotics used for treatment of infections. This was further validated using an inhalation model, where we showed that with the addition of manuka honey, the amikacin dosage can be lowered whilst increasing its efficacy. These findings demonstrate the utility of manuka honey for incorporation into nebulised antibiotic treatment for respiratory infections, in particular . These results pave the way for a change of strategy for management, offering new therapeutic options for this deadly infection.

Nolan, V. et al. (2022)

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