Chronic wound infections and antibiotic resistance have amplified the importance of historically considered ‘complementary’ antimicrobial treatments, including honey. Australia’s unique native flora enables them to produce a diverse range of physicochemical honey. The survey studied 477 honey samples, derived from a range of native and exotic plants from all over Australia, for their antibacterial activity using a trusted screening process. A level of activity considered potentially therapeutically useful was found in 274 (57%) of the honey samples, with exceptional activity seen in samples derived from marri (Corymbia calophylla), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and jellybush (Leptospermum polygalifolium). Predominantly, the antibacterial activity was due to the hydrogen peroxide produced by the bee-derived enzyme glucose oxidase. Activity that was not due to hydrogen peroxide was detected in eighty of the samples (16.8%), and was not consistently found in honey that was produced from Leptospermum spp. After time, hydrogen peroxide dependent activity in the honey is reduced, in some cases by 100%, the activity was more stable at 4uc than at 25uC. Comparatively, the non-hydrogen peroxide activity from other honey was more variable, suggesting activity potentially has a different cause. In conclusion, Australian honey have clinical potential, however further studies will be required before the composition and stability are warranted.


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