Affiliation: Laboratory of Research on Local Animal Products, Ibn-Khaldun University of Tiaret, Tiaret, Algeria.
Honey and other bee products have been subjected to laboratory and clinical investigations over the past few decades, the most significant discovery being their antibacterial activity. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria has made the current use of antibiotic therapy problematic, resulting in earlier remedies being reassessed. Honey, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom, all exhibit strong antibacterial activity. Even antibiotic-resistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) have been found to be as sensitive to honey as the antibiotic sensitive strains of the same species. The main problems in using bee products for medical purposes involve dosage and safety. The increased availability of licensed medical products containing bee products means that clinical use will probably grow and further evidence will become available. Use of such products in professional treatment centers should be limited to those which are safe and that exhibit proven antibacterial activities.