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Manuka Honey reduces the motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Cooper R.pdf (1.13 MB)

Manuka honey reduces the motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by suppression of flagella-associated genes

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-04-08, 15:26 authored by Aled E. L. Roberts, Sarah Maddocks, Rose A. Cooper

 Objectives Manuka honey is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that seems to affect different bacteria in many different ways. It has been shown to be bactericidal against Pseudomonas aeruginosa by destabilizing the cell wall, but we aimed to investigate whether there were further intracellular target sites. Methods In this study inhibitory effects of manuka honey on P. aeruginosa were investigated using hydrophobicity assays, two-dimensional electrophoresis, quantitative RT–PCR, transmission electron microscopy and motility assays. Results Exposure of P. aeruginosa to manuka honey reduced both swarming and swimming motility. Moreover, this was a consequence of de-flagellation of the bacterial cell, which was correlated with decreased expression of the major structural flagellin protein, FliC, and concurrent suppression of flagellin-associated genes, including fliA, fliC, flhF, fleN, fleQ and fleR. The differential expression of the flagellar regulon in the presence of manuka honey was mapped schematically. Flagella are integral to bacterial adhesion, the initiation of infection and biofilm formation, and swarming has been associated with increased virulence. Conclusions By limiting motility in vitro, we infer that manuka honey impacts on the virulence of P. aeruginosa. This deduction must now be tested in vivo 


Published in

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy


Oxford Journals


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Roberts, A.E.L., Maddocks, S.E. and Cooper, R.A. (2014) 'Manuka honey reduces the motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by suppression of flagella-associated genes', Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Electronic ISSN


Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Sarah Maddocks

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Microbiology & Infection

Copyright Holder

  • © The Publisher


  • en

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