Natural honey to eradicate nasal MRSA - a randomised control trial

Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) is a frequent coloniser of normal skin and a common cause of blood stream infection "sepsis". The widespread use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the term used to describe S.aureus bacteria resistant to penicillin's and beta-lactams. Nasal colonisation of S.aureus and MRSA are often a precursor for invasive infections such as bacteremia. Nasal decolonisation with mupirocin is the recommended treatment of choice for nasal MRSA, maximum of only two courses.
A number of studies have reported increasing resistance to mupirocin. Persistent colonisation of MRSA in high risk patients and inability to decolonise pose serious consequence for treatment of underlying illness in addition to the increasing risk of infection.
The potential benefit of honey has been demonstrated especially on wound care & the sensitivity of Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA etc to Manuka honey. The demonstrated ability of natural honey as a beneficial therapeutic agent is due to its (a) ability to bind to proteins(b) inherent non-peroxide antibacterial activity and (c) high osmotic pressure which render an adverse environment for bacteria. Bactericidal mode of action using manuka honey on S.aureus has been reported by Henriques et al. The proven bactericidal mode of actioncould be beneficial in the decolonisation of nasal MRSA.
The study has the potential to revolutionise MRSA decolonisation strategies in addition the benefit of reducing antimicrobial resistance.

Award Date
25 April 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Toney Thomas
Host Institution
Beaumont Hospital
Research Training Fellowships for Health Professionals