Sweet Relief: Determining the Antimicrobial Activity of Medical Grade Honey Against Vaginal Isolates of Candida albicans

Renée Hermanns, Niels A.J. Cremers, John P. Leeming, Esther T. van der Werf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

4 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC) is predicted to increase to almost 158 million cases annually by 2030. Extensive self-diagnosis and easily accessible over-the-counter (OTC) fungistatic drugs contribute to antifungal-resistance, illustrating the need for novel therapies. Honey possesses multiple antimicrobial mechanisms, and there is no antimicrobial resistance towards honey reported. We evaluated the susceptibility of five clinical isolates of Candida albicans and a control strain to regular honey and a medical grade honey (MGH) gel formulation (L-Mesitran, containing 40% honey and vitamins C and E) using an adapted version of the EUCAST protocol at pH 5.2, 4.6, and 4.0. 40% regular honey did not kill or inhibit C. albicans. In contrast, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of L-Mesitran was 25%-50%, while fungicidal effects occurred at a 50% concentration (MBC) of the MGH formulation, except for one strain which was not killed at pH 4.0. Overall, pH had little effect on antimicrobial activity. MGH formulation L-Mesitran has antimicrobial activity against C. albicans over a relevant pH range. The vitamin supplements or other components of L-Mesitran may enhance the antifungal activity of the honey. This study supports performing clinical trials for conditions, such as RVVC, to find an alternative to available OTC fungistatic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fungi
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Candida
  • Candidiasis
  • Medical grade honey
  • Recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis
  • Vaginitis

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