Honey could help to fight superbugs
Written By: Abbie Smith
Scientists have found that manuka honey might be an effective remedy in the treatment of superbugs that are resistant to existing antibiotics.
Research found that it can clear infections after it was tested on festering wounds and hospital surfaces.
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It works by breaking down the defences that bacteria use against antibiotics, which scientists say could make it useful in the treatment of MRSA and other major infections.
The study showed that manuka honey can reverse the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, after it caused MRSA to become more sensitive to antibiotics like oxacillin.
The results, which were presented at a Society for General Microbiology meeting, also found that a variety of honey from bees that feed on manuka trees in New Zealand was effective.
A specially filtered version of this honey, which has any impurities removed, is already used in modern wound-care products across the world.
Although the medicinal benefits and antiseptic powers of honey has been known about for centuries, scientists wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the bacteria-fighting properties in manuka honey to see if it would be effective in clearing infections found in hospitals.
Professor Rose Cooper, from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff, worked with two types of common bacteria – pseudomonads and streptococci during the study.
She found that manuka honey can prevent the fusion of bacteria to tissue, which is a major step in the formation of severe infections.
The joining of bacteria and tissue also causes biofilms, which protects the bacteria from antibiotics, therefore allowing them to cause long-term infections.
Professor Cooper said: "This indicates that existing antibiotics may be more effective against drug-resistant infections if used in combination with manuka honey.
"What we need to do now is look at more combinations with antibiotics and do some clinical work in patients."
"It could be applied topically to wounds and used in combination with antibiotics to treat resistant infections."
But she did warn people not to try using honey bought from the supermarket as a medicinal aid: "Not only is it messy, it wouldn't be advisable. We have been using medical grade honey, not the stuff you buy in shops."
Schneider Electric's intelligent patient room: need to know
Schneider Electric has launched a virtual showcase that features its new "intelligent patient room". What is it exactly?
Who: Schneider Electric is a multinational that develops energy and automation solutions for many different industries - including hospitality, education, defence, and healthcare. Founded in 1836, today it is a Fortune 500 company, and it currently provides technology to 40% of hospitals around the world, among them Penn Medicine, one of the top hospitals in the US where Schneider's EcoStruxure for Healthcare is deployed, an IoT solution.
What: Schneider has launched its Innovation Experience Live Healthcare Lab, an immersive experience that takes visitors through a demonstration of a hospital, including the doctor’s office, the operating room, and the intelligent patient room.
The room features a digital patient footwall - a touchscreen that creates a single reference point for patients, families and healthcare providers, by incorporating care information, entertainment and environmental controls all in one place. A separate digital patient door display has important information for healthcare staff.
All Schneider's equipment is low-voltage, and integrated so that the patient room, clinical needs and IT are all seamlessly connected, what Schneider calls a digital “system of systems.”
Why: Mike Sanders, Customer Projects & Services in Healthcare Innovation at Schneider Electric, explains: “The hospital of the future will need to put the patient experience at the forefront, using innovative and connected systems to provide superior in-hospital care experiences.”
“With the shift to remote work and business brought forth by the pandemic, we knew that we needed to invest in a new virtual experience that showcases our vision for a truly integrated healthcare experience. We believe our intelligent patient room is the solution that our healthcare partners and customers have been looking for, and we’re excited to offer a way for them to experience it no matter where they are in the world.”
Where: The virtual experience was modelled after the new innovations installed at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, the first real-world installation of Schneider Electric’s fully integrated intelligent patient room technology. It is currently being hosted at the company’s St. Louis Innovation Hub and Innovation Executive Briefing Center (IEBC) facility.