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Medihoney eradicates MRSA in chronic venous ulcers

20 June 2008

Clinical trial shows Comvita Medihoney™ eradicates MRSA from chronic venous ulcers

Medihoney™antibacterial Leptospermum (Manuka) honey eradicates MRSA from 70% of chronic venous ulcers and stimulates healing in chronic wounds

Superbug – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) continues to dominate global headlines as a formidable hospital-acquired infection, killing thousands of patients each year and becoming a huge burden on healthcare costs.

A randomised controlled trial (RCT) compared the bacteriological effects of Manuka honey with hydrogel, after four weeks 70% of the honey treated wounds versus 16% of the hydrogel treated wounds had MRSA eradicated.

Published in this month’s Journal of Wound Care, the research paper “Bacteriological changes in sloughy venous leg ulcers treated with Manuka honey or hydrogel: an RCT,” was written by Georgina T. Gethin and Seamus Cowman, both of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. They concluded that for sloughy venous ulcers, “the efficacy of honey in eliminating MRSA in such wounds is a positive finding that may have implications for wound management and infection control.”

The authors also concluded that the use of Manuka honey was associated with a significant reduction in wound pain after one week.

A second research paper was published in the current edition of the International Wound Journal and distributed to the attendees of the recent World Union of Wound Healing Societies conference, held in Toronto. This paper "The impact of Manuka honey dressings on the surface pH of chronic wounds," shows that the use of Medihoney™ alginate dressings is associated with a reduction in wound size, possibly driven in part by a significant reduction in overall wound pH.

The authors cite their rationale for researching pH modulation in chronic wounds as follows: "Chronic non-healing wounds have an elevated alkaline environment.” The authors went on to say “Lowering wound pH can potentially reduce protease activity, increase fibroblast activity and increase oxygen release, consequently aiding wound healing."

Anthony Moloney, Comvita General Manager - Medical, says “It’s exciting to see leading international clinical research building the evidence for Medihoney products.

The authors evaluated the progression of 20 non-healing ulcers of various aetiologies following application of the dressings over a period of two weeks. The dressings were provided by Comvita.

After two weeks of treatment with the dressings, the authors concluded that, for this group of previously non-healing ulcers, "the use of Manuka honey dressings was associated with a statistically significant decrease in wound pH and a reduction in wound size." Significant wound progression during a two-week period is noted as a strong predictor of good wound healing outcomes.

A MedMarket Diligence report published in November 2007¹ states “the worldwide wound management market stood at $4.6 billion in 2007 and will reach $11.5 billion by 2016.

“Dressings with high therapeutic value are set to dominate the growth in advanced wound care” said Moloney. “ These studies show that Medihoney dressings can both clear wounds of drug resistant bacteria and stimulate healing of non healing chronic wounds making these dressings amongst the best available in advanced wound care.”


¹ Report #245:”Worldwide Wound Management, 2007-2016: Established and Emerging Products, Technologies and Markets in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Rest of World.” November 2007 by MedMarket Diligence, LLC.

What is a chronic wound?
A chronic wound is a wound that does not heal in an orderly set of stages and in a predictable amount of time the way most wounds do; wounds that do not heal within three months are often considered chronic (Wikipedia.)

What is slough?
Slough is the formation of a viscous, predominantly yellow layer of tissue.

About Comvita:
Comvita has a global reputation for premium healthcare products and is committed to the development of innovative natural products based on scientific research. Comvita announced the acquisition of Medihoney on July 01 2007 in a strategy to become the global leader in medical honey. Backed by a proud 30-year heritage in therapeutic bee-based products, Comvita is the world’s largest manufacturer and marketer of Leptospermum (Manuka) honey, however in more recent times the company has been developing other innovative and unique ingredient platforms that meet consumer preferences in natural healthcare. Comvita offers products in the categories of Woundcare, Healthcare, Skincare and Functional Food. Comvita has offices in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the UK and sells product in over 20 countries.

About the Medihoney Brand:

Comvita’s Medihoney™ brand incorporates a range of leading skin and wound care products that are challenging the reliance on synthetic medicines and treatments. Comvita is setting new standards in the management of acute and chronic wounds and in the protection of vulnerable and at-risk skin. Clinical trials are being conducted to further investigate the use of Medihoney products for a range of indications including infection control, paediatric burns, leg and foot ulcers, surgical wounds, ophthalmology, haemodialysis exit-sites and control of malodour in chronic wounds.

About the Journal of Wound Care (JWC):
JWC is the definitive wound-care journal and the leading source of tissue viability research and clinical information. Launched in 1992, it is designed to meet the needs of the multidisciplinary team. The journal is essential reading for all wound-care specialists - nurses, doctors and researchers - who are keen to keep up-to-date with all developments in wound management and tissue viability, but also appeals to generalists wishing to enhance their practice. JWC is internationally renowned for its cutting edge and state-of the-art research and practice articles. The journal also covers management, education and novel therapies. Articles are rigorously peer-reviewed by a panel of international experts.

About the International Wound Journal (IWJ):
IWJ is a multi-disciplinary forum providing the best quality information, research data and education on all aspects of wounds and wound healing in the fields of surgery, dermatology, oncology, nursing, radiotherapy, physiotherapy, and podiatry. Peer-reviewed, the Journal is the primary information resource for all healthcare professionals caring for patients with wound infections, the diabetic foot, leg ulcers and chronic wounds. Information on the journal can be found at

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