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Molecules 2013, 18(4), 4233-4246; doi:10.3390/molecules18044233
Article

Effect of Erica sp. Honey against Microorganisms of Clinical Importance: Study of the Factors Underlying this Biological Activity

1,†
,
2,†
,
3
 and
3,*
Received: 18 February 2013 / Revised: 18 March 2013 / Accepted: 1 April 2013 / Published: 11 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolites)
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Abstract

This study aimed to determine the factors (phenolic compounds, flavonoids, sugars or H2O2) that contribute the most to the antimicrobial activity of heather honey samples against four yeasts and four bacteria with medical importance. To discard the effect of H2O2 in the antimicrobial activity, catalase was added. To evaluate the osmotic pressure’s effect, artificial honey was also used. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids were determined and Pearson’s correlation analysis was performed to assess whether these correlated with antimicrobial activity. The amount of phenolic compounds ranged from 630.89 ± 5.21 GAE kg−1 to 718.92 ± 4.41 GAE kg−1, while the flavonoids varied between 450.72 ± 5.67 CAE kg−1 and 673.98 ± 4.33 CAE kg−1. For the bacteria, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the honey without catalase ranged from 1.01 ± 0.50% to 10.00 ± 4.72% and was between 2.00 ± 0.94% and 13.27 ± 5.23% for honey with catalase. Concerning the yeasts, the MICs was between 13.16 ± 4.08% and 20.00 ± 5.09% for honey without catalase and between 14.95 ± 4.16% and 25.67 ± 5.50% for honey with catalase. The elucidation of the antimicrobial factors and action mechanisms is essential for the correct use of honey in therapeutic applications.
Keywords: antibacterial properties; antifungal properties; heather honey; hydrogen peroxide; polyphenols; sugars antibacterial properties; antifungal properties; heather honey; hydrogen peroxide; polyphenols; sugars
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Feás, X.; Iglesias, A.; Rodrigues, S.; Estevinho, L.M. Effect of Erica sp. Honey against Microorganisms of Clinical Importance: Study of the Factors Underlying this Biological Activity. Molecules 2013, 18, 4233-4246.

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