The Antibacterial Activity of Honey on Helicobacter Pylori

Basil C Nzeako, Faiza Al-Namaani


Objective: This project aimed to assess the antibacterial potential of various brands of honey sold in Muscat area on some isolates of H. pylori and to determine if there is any synergy between honey and amoxycillin or clarithromycin used in the treatment of H. pylori gastritis and duodenal ulcer. Methods: Eight samples of commercial honey were used in the experiment after they were checked for purity by sub-culturing on blood agar and incubating for 48 hours at 370c. Honey samples showing gross contamination were discarded. Purified culture isolates of H. pylori from our laboratory stock cultures were swabbed on chocolate plate using 1x104 cfu/ml. One hundred microlitres (100μl) of various honey samples were placed on each plate which was subsequently incubated microaerophilically at 37?c for 3 days. The presence or absence of growth inhibition zones on each plate was noted and an average zone size of each honey was taken. Honey samples with high zone sizes were further diluted from 1:2-1:8 to find the end-points of their growth inhibition concentrations and the experiment was repeated in triplicates. The synergistic effect between honey, amoxycillin and clarithromycin was done in triplicates by placing honey at various distances between each antibiotic after swabbing chocolate agar with 1x104 cfu/ml of H. pylori. The plates were incubated as before. Results: All honey samples produced growth inhibition zones with H. pylori no at dilution of honey but had different zone sizes at 1:2–1:8 dilutions. Black Forest honey had the highest antibacterial activity followed by Langnese honey. None of the honeys had a synergistic effect with either clarithromycin or amoxycillin. Conclusion: We conclude that, in vitro, some honey brands possess antibacterial activity against H. pylori and that no synergy or antagonism was observed between honey and clarithromycin or honey and amoxicillin using H. pylori as a test organism. Though no synergy or antagonism was observed between honey, amoxicillin or clarithromycin, it has been suggested that the use of honey with triple therapy regimen may help shorten the time required to eliminate H. pylori from stomach lining of patients with gastritis or duodenal ulcer caused by H. pylori infection.


Antibacterial, Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin, Honey, H. pylori, Triple therapy, Synergy

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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