Manuka Honey from New Zealand has been found in randomized controlled clinical trials to significantly reduce the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in wounds.
MRSA continues to dominate global headlines as a formidable hospital-acquired infection, killing thousands of patients each year and becoming a huge burden on healthcare costs. The number of hospital admissions for MRSA has increased rapidly over the last decade, with a 300% increase in 2005 over that of 2000, and a 1000% increase over that of 1995. Conservative estimates suggest a global figure of up to 53 million people infected by this antibiotic-resistant strain. MRSA is resistant to such common antibiotics as methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and oxacillin, and is quick to adapt to new ones. Historically, MRSA has been most common among people with weak immune systems, living in either hospitals or long-term care centers. However, it has been increasingly present in healthy individuals, giving rise to community-acquired MRSA.
Studies showing Manuka Honey‘s ability to eradicate MRSA have many medical professionals impressed, and even releaved. MRSA, which is now reaching out beyond the walls of hospitals and other healthcare facilities into the general community, claims more lives than AIDS in certain countries. Manuka Honey’s ability to eradicate this superbug makes it a truly unique substance in the field of wound care. Retailers have seen steady growth in interest and sales of Manuka Honey products within the past year.
In randomized and controlled clinical trials, Manuka Honey was used on venous leg ulcers that had been proven to be non-healing under standard treatment. In these studies, half the patients had a common advanced wound care gel added to the standard treatment, and half had Manuka Honey added. After four weeks, 70% of the Manuka Honey treated wounds versus only 16% of the hydrogel treated wounds had MRSA eradicated. It has been concluded that for sloughy venous ulcers, the efficacy of Manuka Honey in eliminating MRSA in such wounds is a positive finding that may have implications for wound management and infection control.
Wound care is a major healthcare concern, compounded by several factors, including an aging population. Medical professionals are also predicting an emergence of new antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in the future. To date, there have been no reports of any infectious bacteria being able to develop a resistance to Manuka Honey. These reports are encouraging and may breath life to new generations of advanced wound care.