A leg wound on a horse had defied all previous attempts at treatment. That was until he was treated with a new remedy of 13 lactic acid bacteria taken from the stomach of honey bees.
Mixed with processed honey, water and sugar, the blend helps produce antimicrobial substances that kill antibiotic resistant germs.
This discovery has been made by Swedish researchers at Lund University. Raw honey has been used against infections for millennia but this group of bacteria found in fresh honey produce a myriad of active antimicrobial compounds.
When the lactic acid bacteria was applied to the pathogens in the laboratory, it counteracted all of them.
Medical Microbiologist, Alejandra Vasquez, from Lund University said: “It’s actually the living bacteria that are the key ingredient in that. We can take this old medicine into a new level, in which we can standardise, for instance, a mixture of honey with these bacteria in a high concentration.”
The successful trial could help the medical community overcome the growing problem of global antibiotic resistance. The team’s next step is to undertake trials on humans whose wounds have proved impossible to treat.
“The healing has been between eight days until three weeks, but they all have healed, the chronic wounds. We thought in our discovery that this could be possibly alternative tool for antibiotics, but we didn’t expect such good results,” Alejandra Vasquez added.
In recent years, antibiotic resistance has become a critical issue for global health, with an ever increasing number of strains of bacteria developing immunity. The solution may come from bees.