Sydney: Honey from an Australian myrtle tree has shown the most potent effect against highly resistant bugs, scientists say.
It could be used to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections such as the Methicillin-Resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that commonly occur in hospitals and nursing homes.
A research group found that native myrtle honey has very high levels of anti-bacterial compound, Methylglyoxal (MGO), and outperforms all medicinal honeys currently available, including Manuka honey.
The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) conducted the research with the Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia.
The project involved comprehensive trials with honey harvested from a native species of myrtle, distributed along the Australian eastern seaboard, according to a QAAFI statement.
Chief executive officer of the Australian Organic Honey Company & Medi Bioactive Australia, Carolyn MacGill, said the findings had shown anti-bacterial potency levels that could allow for the development of highly effective anti-bacterial treatments.
Honeys investigated by the research group, when used in the range of 500 to 1750 mg per kg of MGO, prevent the growth of MRSA.
Chief project researcher at QAAFI Yasmina Sultanbawa said the potency of the honey meant that only a small amount was required to fight infection.
"The sheer strength, due to high levels of active compounds in these honeys has meant that we have been able to completely inhibit MRSA for example in in-vitro studies with a relatively small quantity of the honey," Sultanbawa said.