Honey Effective in Killing Bacteria that Cause Chronic Sinusitis

CHICAGO – Honey is very effective in killing bacteria in all its forms, especially the drug-resistant biofilms that make treating chronic rhinosinusitis difficult, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO, being held in Chicago.

The study, authored by Canadian researchers Talal Alandejani, MD, Joseph G. Marsan, MD, Wendy Ferris, BSc, MLT, MSc, Robert Slinger, and Frank Chan, PhD,  at the University of Ottawa, found that in 11 isolates of three separate biofilms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicicillin-resistant and -suseptible Staphylococcus aureus), honey was significantly more effective in killing both planktonic and biofilm-grown forms of the bacteria, compared with the rate of bactericide by antibiotics commonly used against the bacteria.

Given the historical uses of honey in some cultures as a homeopathic treatment for bad wound infections, the authors conclude that their findings may hold important clinical implications in the treatment of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis, with topical treatment a possibility.

Chronic rhinosinusitis affects approximately 31 million people each year in the United States alone, costing over $4 billion in direct health expenditures and lost workplace productivity. It is among the three most common chronic diseases in North America.

Source: AAO-HNS

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