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Monday, July 12, 2010

Beeglue can fight MRSA

Balls of propolis

First, let’s define a few terms. MRSA stands for multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or sometimes methicillin-resistant). These bacteria are a huge problem in hospitals, because, as the name implies, they are almost untreatable. Some strains of MRSA are resistant to all known antibiotics. Beeglue, also known as propolis, is a natural antiseptic sealant used by bees to repair small gaps in their hives. To be clear, it is not beeswax or honey. It's made from the sticky resins and sap that bees collect from nearby plants.

VĂ©ronique Seidel and her team from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, screened fractions of propolis acquired from the Solomon islands against MRSA. They found two compounds within the propolis, which they called propolin C and D, which appear to be effective in defeating MRSA. The researchers hope these propolis extracts can serve as templates for manufacturing anti-MRSA agents. This would be welcome news, as the CDC reported over 18,000 MRSA deaths in 2005 alone.