Despite the development of modern medicine, the treatment of some ailments requires the use of natural components. It is with this in mind that scientists from Aston University conducted studies on new approaches to treat life-threatening lung infections. The new method should easily overcome ailments such as cystic fibrosis, an infection of the respiratory tract.
The new study combines the antibacterial properties of manuka honey with the medicine amikacin which is an antibiotic used to treat respiratory diseases. During the test phases, the mixture formed seems to be more efficient than the treatments generally used for the treatment of pulmonary infections.
Victoria Nolan, PhD student, in collaboration with Jonathan Cox, senior lecturer in microbiology at the University of Aston, particularly contributed to the study. The various results of the experiments appear in the review Microbiology.
Manuka honey and amikacin, a powerful duo
Currently, patients with lung disease receive a combination of antibiotics over a 12 month period, but this approach is not not always effective. The usual dose of amikacin used on a patient to clear the infection is 16 micrograms per milliliter. However, the combination using Manuka honey requires a dose of only 2 micrograms per milliliter of amikacin.
Thus, it is possible to cure ailments like Mycobacterium abscessus, once incurable in people with cystic fibrosis. It should be noted that said infection can be fatal since it nullifies all the patient’s chances of benefiting froma lung transplant.
“Until now, treatment of Mycobacterium abscessus lung infections can be problematic due to its drug-resistant nature. However, the combination of amikacin and manuka honey shows great promise as an improved therapy for these terrible lung infections. »
Victoria Nolan, PhD student and lead author of the study
A honey with incredible properties
To test the effectiveness of Manuka honey against cystic fibrosis, the researchers used bacteria from Mycobacterium abscessus (microbes responsible for tuberculosis). A laboratory lung model and a nebulizer (device that produces a fine spray of liquid) were also used. By administering honey and amikacin, a significant reduction in harmful bacteria was observed.
Control patients were therefore subjected to the treatment and, unsurprisingly, their state of health improved. Moreover, they claim to have felt fewer side effects to usual drugs.