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Antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey against antibiotic-resistant strains of the cell wall-free bacteria Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum

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posted on 2022-12-19, 12:15 authored by K.L. Hillitt, R.E. Jenkins, O.B. Spiller, Mike BeetonMike Beeton

 The susceptibility of the cell wall-free bacterial pathogens Ureaplasma spp. to Manuka honey was examined. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of Manuka honey for four Ureaplasma urealyticum and four Ureaplasma parvum isolates was determined. Sensitivity to honey was also compared to clinical isolates with resistance to tetracycline, macrolide and fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Finally step-wise resistance training was utilized in an attempt to induce increased tolerance to honey. The MIC was dependent on the initial bacterial load with 7·5 and 18·0% w/v honey required to inhibit U. urealyticum at 1 and 106 colour changing units (CCU), respectively, and 4·8 and 15·3% w/v required to inhibit U. parvum at 1 and 106 CCU respectively. MIC values were consistently lower for U. parvum compared with U. urealyticum. Antimicrobial activity was seen against tetracycline-resistant, erythromycin-resistant and ciprofloxacin-resistant isolates at 105 CCU. No resistance to honey was observed with 50 consecutive challenges at increasing concentrations of honey. This is the first report of the antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey against a cell wall-free bacterial pathogen. The antimicrobial activity was retained against antibiotic-resistant strains and it was not possible to generate resistant mutants. 


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Letters in Applied Microbiology




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Hillitt, K.L., Jenkins, R.E., Spiller, O.B. and Beeton, M.L. (2016) 'Antimicrobial activity of Manuka honey against antibiotic resistant strains of the cell wall free bacteria Ureaplasma parvum and Ureaplasma urealyticum', Letters in Applied Microbiology, 64 (3), pp.198-202

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Michael Beeton

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Microbiology & Infection

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