La miel como antibiótico natural: los científicos identifican un ingrediente secreto en la miel que mata las bacterias

Science Daily (Julio 12, 2010)- Dulces noticias para aquéllos que andan buscando nuevos antibióticos: Según una investigación publicada en Julio del 2010 en la edición impresa del FASEB Journal se explica por primera vez como es que la miel mata las bacterias. Específicamente, la investigación muestra que las abejas producen una proteína que agregan a la miel, llamada defensin-1, la cual algún día podrá ser usada para tratar quemaduras e infecciones de piel y para desarrollar nuevos medicamentos que puedan combatir infecciones resistentes a los antibióticos.

We have completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of a single medical-grade honey, which contributes to the applicability of honey in medicine," said Sebastian A.J. Zaat, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. "Honey or isolated honey-derived components might be of great value for prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria." To make the discovery, Zaat and colleagues investigated the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey in test tubes against a panel of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. They developed a method to selectively neutralize the known antibacterial factors in honey and determine their individual antibacterial contributions. Ultimately, researchers isolated the defensin-1 protein, which is part of the honey bee immune system and is added by bees to honey. After analysis, the scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein. This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honey bee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and heartier honey bees.

"We've known for millennia that honey can be good for what ails us, but we haven't known how it works," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "Now that we've extracted a potent antibacterial ingredient from honey, we can make it still more effective and take the sting out of bacterial infections."

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Journal Reference:

1. P. H. S. Kwakman, A. A. te Velde, L. de Boer, D. Speijer, C. M. J. E. Vandenbroucke-Grauls, S. A. J. Zaat. How honey kills bacteria. The FASEB Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-150789

Fuente: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Honey as an antibiotic: Scientists identify a secret ingredient in honey that kills bacteria." ScienceDaily 12 July 2010. 8 December 2010 .

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