The antibacterial activity of honey obtained from different locations in Enugu North and South(Nsukka and Ugwuaji) Nigeria on Streptococcus pyogenes,, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus isolated from wound swabs collected from University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) were studied. Reviews on the effects of honey in medicine and its properties was further studied, because as an antimicrobial agent honey may have the potential for treating a variety of ailments. The Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, and high acidity content . Gram test and biochemical tests were carried out on the cultures. The method employed for the sensitivity test was the agar well diffusion assay, which involved the determination of antibacterial activity by measuring the zones of inhibition produced by honey, measured by using a transparent meter rule. The results of this study revealed antibacterial activity of both the honey samples used on the test organisms as the concentration of honey was increased, high antibacterial activity was attained . Honey from Nsukka was found to be more potent on the test organisms by producing the largest zone of inhibition on Staph.aureus and E.coli at all dilution concentrations and inhibited moderately on Streptococcus pyogenes. 







                                          1.0 INTRODUCTION

The management of wounds, ulcers and abscesses can be quite difficult for the surgeon and frustrating for the patient with the ever increasing numbers of strains of organisms resistant to current antibiotics it has become necessary to search for an alternative and equally effective method of dealing with the situation (Efam, 1993). It has been demonstrated in recent studies that honey can accelerate wound healing and also possesses bacterial properties (Efam,1993). Since no known chemical or biological agents has been shown to destroy all the possible organism that cause wound infection and other surgical infections, empirical use of honey in treating all infected wounds is likely to be rewarding.

Hence it is necessary to determine the antimicrobial spectrum of honey so that it can be applied on wounds contaminating by sensitive organisms ( Allen, et al. 1991). Honey is a substance made when nectar and sweet deposite from plants are gathered, modified and stored in the honeycomb by honeybees Apis melifera (Martins, et al. 2001). In 1999, Al Walli, et al.reported that honey hass been used topically for medical purpose. Honey is composed mainly of sugars (70-80%) such as fructose, sucrose, glucose,etc a low level of water, proteins, hydrogen peroxide, and gluconic acid,  As a typical agent, honey has a dedebridin0g and cleansing action and acts as a barrier to prevent infections. Its antimicrobial properties as a topical agent has been described and documented both in vitro and in vivo studies and evidencesupports its usefulness in wound healing (David, 2005). Recent studies have reported the benefits of honey in the treatment of burns, skin grafts, radiation induced mucositis and dermatologic conditions such as borrhea and dermatitis (Willix, et al 1992).The antibacterial property of honey is derived from the osmotic effect of its high sugar content. Its acidic properties of gluconoic acid and the antiseptic properties of its hydrogen peroxide  (Khan, et al. 2007). Wounds infected with Staphylococcus aureus are quickly rendered sterile by honey. Different types of honey are available depending on the source of nectar used in its production the source of the nectar determines the degree of antibacterial activity of the honey (Efem, 1993). High demand for honey coupled with poverty often lead to product scarcity and adulteration and consequently, reduction in the product quality (Omode and Ademukola, 2008). People tend to visit the local market than buy honey directly from the apiary. The present study is aimed at investigating the antibacterial activity of unprocessed commercial honey sold in the local markets from two regions of Enugu state Nigeria (Enugu North and Enugu West) on the following wound isolates: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus pyogenes.

 1.1. Honey

Honey is a natural sweet substance and is produced by honeybees from the nectar of blossoms, from secretion of living parts of plants. Honeybees collect this material, transform and combine it with specific substances of their own, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature (White & Landis, 1980). Freshly extracted honey is a viscous liquid, has a greater density (1.5 g/cm3) than water (1 g/cm3 at 4 ēC), having a strong hygroscopic character, relatively low heat conductivity, low surface tension and various colours that are basically all variances of yellow amber (Jusbin, 1996). The various chemical components of honey include: carbohydrates that comprise the major portion of honey-about 82 % (Hak-Gil et al., 1988), and proteins that include a number of enzymes, and eighteen free amino acids, a carboxylic acid group, of which most abundant is proline (White et al., 1962). With respect to carbohydrates, honey is mainly fructose (about 38.5 %) and glucose (about 31.0 %), making it similar to the synthetically produced inverted sugar syrup which is approximately 48 % fructose, 47 % glucose, and 5 % sucrose (Hak-Gil et al., 1988).


1.2 Extraction of honey

Honey is collected from wild bee colonies, or from domesticated beehives. Wild bee nests are sometimes located by following a honeyguide bird. Collecting honey is typically achieved by using smoke from a bee smoker to pacify the bees; this causes the bees to attempt to save the resources of the hive from a possible forest fire, and makes them far less aggressive. The honeycomb is removed from the hive and the honey is extracted from that, often using a honey extractor. The honey is then filtered and stored in jars and most times sold with bottles in the market or commercial stores (National honey board, 1994).

Bacteria                                                                                                      Bacteria are minute organisms included in the category of microorganism which occur almost everywhere but because of their small size, their activities continue unnoticed though their presence are sometimes revealed when would becomes septic, milk become sour etc (Singleton, 1997). The discovery of bacteria as major causes of disease resulted in the need for their elimination thus the need for substances, which are capable of achieving this goal. The term antimicrobial agent thus describes any substances be it physical or chemical that is effective against microorganisms of which bacteria is one. Some of such agents include heat, antibiotics, alcohol, etc (Prescott., et al, 2002).

However, the relentless emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of pathogens together with the retarded discovery of novel antibiotics (Cooper, 2000) has led to the study of various natural products in the control and inhibition of bacteria particularly where conventional modern therapeutic agents are failing (Molan, 2001). Honey is one of such natural products that has been so studied.















1.4 Honey analysis


Composition                                             Percentage

     Fructose                                                              38.2%

    Glucose                                                                31.3%    

    Sucrose                                                                 1.3% 

    Maltose                                                                7.1%                       

    Water                                                                  17.2 %      

   High sugars                                                          1.5 %     

    Ash                                                                      0.2%

   Other/undetermined                                             3.2%       


Honey has a density of about 1.36 kilograms per litre( 36% denser than water). (Hak-Gil et al., 1988).



1.5 Objectives of study

I   To determine the minimum inhibitory concentration of  honey on bacteria

     Isolated from infections.                     

II   To compare the antibacterial activity of honey from  Nsukka and Ugwuaji

     (Enugu North and south) Enugu Nigeria.

III  To determine the specific gravity of honey from the different  location of

        work study.

IV  To yield additional knowledge such as the possible dilution of honey


       sample, density and activity of the honey sample on Bacterial infection.

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