University Dept. of Surgery, K. T. Udoh, University Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
Received: 18 June 1991 Accepted: 28 January 1992
Summary The antimicrobial spectrum of honey was investigated by placing two drops into each of the wells made on culture media on which pure cultures of various organisms obtained from surgical specimens were grown. The organisms were grown under both aerobic and anaerobic environments. Fungal cultures of common fungi causing surgical infections or wound contaminations were mixed with 100%, 50% and 20% unprocessed honey. Growth inhibition was complete in the media containing 100%, partial in media containing 50% and no inhibition was produced by 20% honey. Unprocessed honey inhibited most of the fungi and bacteria causing wound infection and surgical infection exceptPseudomonas aeruginosa andClostridium oedematiens. Apart fromStreptococcus pyogenes which is only moderately inhibited, golden syrup, a sugar syrup with similar physical properties as honey, did not inhibit any of the bacteria or fungi tested, demonstrating that honey is superior to any hypertonic sugar solution in antimicrobial activity. Honey is thus an ideal topical wound dressing agent in surgical infections, burns and wound infections.
The antimicrobial spectrum of honey and its clinical significance
A controlled model of moist wound healing: comparison between semi-permeable film, antiseptics and sugar paste.
An established wound model in the pig has been modified using a Stomahesive ring to enable study of the effects of fluids used in wound care. Full thickness wounds (up to 9 mm deep) were treated with the substances under test. Each application was held in place with a Stomahesive flange, the inner part of which had been excised as far as the hard plastic ring. All dressings were then covered with OpSite which allowed gaseous exchange whilst retaining treatment fluids and secretions. Wounds were treated immediately and at 2 and 4 days. The experiment was terminated after 7 days and the whole wound, with dressing, was excised for histological examination. The wounds covered with OpSite alone and those treated with sugar paste under Opsite were found to be infilled with granulation tissue over which epidermal migration was taking place.
Those wounds which had been packed with gauze, to which had been added one of the following: chlorhexidine gluconate 0.2%, Irgasan 0.2%, povidone iodine 0.8% or EUSOL half-strength, showed delayed healing in that less infilling had taken place over the same time period. This delay could be attributed to the nature of the chemicals used and/or the influence of gauze packing. This delay in the healing of wounds treated with chemical agents was least with EUSOL half-strength and greatest with chlorhexidine. No toxic effects were observed with sugar paste which may be preferable to antiseptics for the management of dirty or infected wounds.