In order to tackle urine infection, scientists have announced that honey and water might be a useful weapon against the condition in hospital patients. According to the study published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Pathology’, scientists at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom (UK) have shown in the laboratory that diluted honey stops some common bacteria from forming sticky, hard-toremove layers on surfaces such as plastic.
Urine infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them. Patients often have a catheter fitted, either to drain urine stuck in the bladder or to monitor urine output. But these flexible tubes can harbour nasty bugs and cause infection.
In theory, a honey solution might be useful for flushing urinary catheters to keep them clean while they remain in the bladder. Many more trials would be needed to check it would be safe to use in humans, however. Honey has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic.
People have used it to treat burns and wounds and many companies now sell a range of “medical grade” honey products that comply with regulatory standards. To further demonstrate the impact of honey on bacteria, Professor Rose Cooper, from the Centre for Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University, in a separate research used electron microscopy, and revealed that honey stoped bacteria including MRSA growing, meaning cells cannot divide and therefore are unable to form infections.
According to the study in the ‘Journal of Clinical Pathology’, the laboratory work looked at two common bacteria that can cause urine and bladder infections – E. coli and Proteus mirabilis. Bacteria can form a biofilm that coats the surface of medical devices, such as catheters.