Swedish researchers have successfully cured treatment-resistant wounds in horses, using a mixture of various lactic acid bacteria found in bees' honey stomachs and honey itself. The successful trial could help the medical community overcome the growing problem of global antibiotic resistance.
Knallen's leg wound had defied all previous attempts at treatment. That was until he was treated with a new remedy of 13 lactic acid bacterias taken from the honey stomach of bees. Mixed with processed honey, water, and sugar, the blend helps produce antimicrobial substances that kill antibiotic resistant germs. That's according to Lund University researcher Alejandra Vasquez. SOUNDBITE (English) LUND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGIST, ALEJANDRA VASQUEZ, SAYING: "It's actually the living bacteria that is the key ingredient in that. We can take this old medicine into a new level, in which we can standardise, for instance, a mixture of honey with this bacteria in a high concentration and viable and then put it back and try to mimic, as I said, this natural fresh honey and put it into chronic wounds." Ten horses with seemingly untreatable wounds, including Knallen, were administered with the substance. Within just three weeks all were showing signs of previously unthinkable recoveries. SOUNDBITE (English) LUND UNIVERSITY MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGIST, ALEJANDRA VASQUEZ, SAYING: "The healing has been between eight days until three weeks, but they all have healed, the chronic wounds. And this is - we got so amazed because we thought, okay, this could be, we thought in our discovery that this could be possibly alternative tool for antibiotics, but we didn't expect such good results." Vasquez and colleague Tobias Olofsson discovered last year that their formula could help protect against bee colony collapse - a major worry in the scientific community. But their new findings could be just as important - potentially helping counteract an alarming growth in mankind's resistance to antibiotics. In laboratory experiments, the pair found that deadly bacteriums such as MRSA were killed off when the mixture was applied. Tests on human wounds have now begun. SOUNDBITE (English) TOBIAS OLOFSSON, RESEARCHER AT LUND UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "We have already begun, actually, with humans with wounds. We have got some samples from chronic wounds looking at what kind of disease bacteria, what kind of harmful bacteria we can find in the wounds and we will try these bacteria in the lab, if they stand any chance against the lactic acid bacteria and they don't. They don't stand any chance." If human trials are successful it could help doctors in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Their research has just been published in the International Wound Journal, and looks set to create a major buzz in the scientific community.