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Open AccessBrief Report

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

1
Triticum Exploitatie B.V., Sleperweg 44, 6222NK Maastricht, The Netherlands
2
Infection Sciences Department, Severn Pathology, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK
3
Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK
4
School of Medicine1, Taylor’s University, Jalan Taylor’s, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor D.E., Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Contributed equally.
J. Fungi 2019, 5(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5030085
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 27 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 9 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Drug Development: Rearview and the Horizon)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: vaginitis; medical grade honey; candidiasis; candida; antibiotic resistance; recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis vaginitis; medical grade honey; candidiasis; candida; antibiotic resistance; recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis
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Hermanns, R.; Cremers, N.A.; Leeming, J.P.; van der Werf, E.T. Sweet Relief: Determining the Antimicrobial Activity of Medical Grade Honey Against Vaginal Isolates of Candida albicans. J. Fungi 2019, 5, 85.

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