Volume 66, Issue 6 p. 491-495
Original Article

Manuka honey and methylglyoxal increase the sensitivity of Staphylococcus aureus to linezolid

G. Hayes

G. Hayes

Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

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N. Wright

N. Wright

Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

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S.L. Gardner

S.L. Gardner

Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

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C.L. Telzrow

C.L. Telzrow

Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

Department of Chemistry, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

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A.J. Wommack

A.J. Wommack

Department of Chemistry, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

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P.A. Vigueira

Corresponding Author

P.A. Vigueira

Department of Biology, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

Correspondence

Patrick A. Vigueira, High Point University, One University Parkway, Drawer 10, High Point, NC 27268, USA.

E-mail: [email protected]

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First published: 25 March 2018
Citations: 20

Abstract

The continued emergence and global spread of bacterial antibiotic resistance has fuelled the search for novel antimicrobial agents and resistance-modifying compounds. Manuka honey has both antimicrobial properties and the ability to increase the efficacy of FDA-approved antibiotic drugs. Compared to other types of honey, manuka honey contains elevated levels of methylglyoxal (MGO), a small molecule that contributes to its antibacterial activity. Manuka honey has shown particular promise for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Linezolid is an oxazolidinone antibiotic used in the treatment of infections caused by a range of Gram-positive pathogens. Here, we demonstrate that manuka honey, as well as MGO in isolation, increases the sensitivity of S. aureus to linezolid in both agar diffusion and broth microdilution assays. This synergistic interaction is mediated in part by increased intracellular accumulation of linezolid in the presence of MGO.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Manuka honey is widely recognized for its antimicrobial activity. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that manuka honey and its active ingredient, methylglyoxal (MGO), can also function as antibiotic adjuvants. In this study, we provide the first report of synergy between MGO and linezolid against Staphylococcus aureus. Both manuka honey and purified MGO significantly increased the sensitivity of S. aureus to linezolid.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest declared.