Clinical Observations on Antibacterial Effect of Honey as a Surgical Wound Dressing Agent


  • University of Nigeria, Department of Veterinary Surgery and Obstetrics, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • University of Nigeria, Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria


Objective: Antibacterial effect of honey as a wound dressing agent was assessed using S. aureus isolate as wound contaminant. Materials and method: Fifteen clinically healthy rabbits divided into three groups of five per group (gp. A:- untreated control; gp B:-honey treated and gp. C:- Penicillin/ Streptomycin treated) were used for the study. Laparotomy incisions were made and after suturing vital parameters and hematology as well as healing pattern, were observed on day zero and days 1,4,7,14 and 21 post surgery (p.s.). The weights were recorded on weekly basis. The data were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) test. Results: Wheal formation was observed around the wound sites on groups A and B, but not in group C (between p.s day 1 and 2). From day 3 to 21 p.s., suppuration was evident in the untreated and honey treated groups but not in the antibiotic treated group. Scar tissue formation was quite evident in group B animals, mild in group A, but completely absent in group C. Wound dehiscence was observed in one of the five animals in group B, while fibrinous peritonitis was observed at post-mortem in 2 animals in each of groups A and B and 1 animal in group C. Culture of swabs collected from the wounds prior to contamination with S. aureus from the three groups yielded no growth. Swabs from animals in group C produced no growth on day 1 p.s. while those from groups A and B yielded extensive and scanty growth, respectively. Growth from swabs in group A became extensive from day 3 up to day 21 p.s. when the experiment was terminated. Similar findings were observed with swabs from group B animals. No growth was recorded in swabs collected from antibiotic treated group. Vital parameters (respiratory rate, rectal temperature), weight and haematological values were not significantly different (P>0.05) among the experimental groups throughout the period of the study. Conclusion: Honey did not prove to be an effective dressing agent in experimental S. aureus contaminated wound.


Antibacterial Effects, Honey, Staphylococcus, Wound Contaminant.

Subject Discipline

Pharmacy and Pharmacology

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