Hitchhikers in Honey: An investigation of the inhibitory mechanisms of bacteria found in honey
Keywords:honeybee, antimicrobial, microbes, raw honey, staphylococcus aureus, inhibitory, gram positive bacteria
Honey has a stable physiochemical composition that contributes to its long shelf life and has been noted as an antimicrobial substance for centuries. Although it is common knowledge that honey affords some antimicrobial properties, the specific mechanisms behind this remain elusive. This paper hypothesizes that the microorganisms in certain raw honeys contribute towards their antimicrobial properties. In our study, we analyzed several raw and processed honey samples to determine their microbial constituents. The antimicrobial potential of the isolated microbes was tested using several clinically relevant bacteria including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Of the tested honeys, Manuka (New Zealand) and Wildflower honey (Tennessee, USA) contained microorganisms exhibiting antimicrobial activity. All the isolated colonies grew on MacConkey and Mannitol agar and generated bands for the 16S rRNA gene implying that they were bacteria. This paper concludes that bacteria isolated from honey could be a new area of research within the topic of antimicrobial honey samples.
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