Antibiotic resistance occurs when microbes develop mechanisms to protect them from the effects of antibiotics, described as the biggest threat to global health today.
More than 1.2 million people died worldwide from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in 2019, according to the medical journal The Lancet.
Increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics threatens to return to the “pre-antibiotic stage”, which poses a serious threat to global health and safety.
With the continued spread of antibiotic-resistant infections and the growing concern surrounding them, scientists are working to find alternatives to antimicrobials, and honey could be the perfect target to achieve this.
Scientists are studying the natural healing properties of honey as it contains antimicrobial compounds. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to combat many types of illnesses and heal wounds.
The challenge is to find and isolate these compounds so they can lead to new treatments for health problems.
Speaking to the BBC, Professor Les Bailey of Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy said the university’s study of honey is an attempt to return to traditional means “to see if we can learn from our ancestors”.
Cardiff scientists are trying to figure out if honey plays a role.
According to Cardiff University: “Honey’s medicinal properties are the result of a combination of factors including high sugar content, low pH, hydrogen peroxide and bee-derived peptides. Honey also contains antimicrobial phytochemicals, which are a rich source of evidence for the development of cures for diseases. treatment of microbial infections.
Scientists at Cardiff University are trying to find and isolate antimicrobial compounds using honey as a “drug discovery tool” by watching to see if bees graze on a plant containing antibiotics. Once they discover the plant, they can study its compounds.
Dr. Jennifer Hawkins said: “Our plan was to hire bees as private investigators and send them to interview every flowering plant in the country. During each visit, these investigators collected forensic material in the form of nectar containing phytochemicals, some of which can be antibacterial, and pills, pollen, which bears the plant’s DNA imprint.”
Dandelion is currently being closely studied by scientists, as it contains compounds that Prof. Bailey says “kill bacteria and viruses.”
He added: “We need to do something innovative, otherwise we will face the scenario of a return to the pre-antibiotic stage.”
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