Honey produced by a form of ant in Australia has antimicrobial properties that would possibly per chance well presumably also one day outcome in new treatments against some bacterial and fungal infections.
Australian honeypot ants (Camponotus inflatus) are discovered in arid areas of central and western parts of the nation. Their colonies are made up of frequent worker ants and a specialised community of staff known as repletes. These accumulate nectar that they stuff into their extended abdomens, giving them a glassy, amber hue.
“They’re mainly the holding vessels of the nectar that’s brought in,” says Andrew Dong at the University of Sydney, Australia. By regurgitating the nectar, the replete ants produce a honey that feeds the comfort of colony.
For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians hang eaten this honey and favorite it to treat sore throats, wounds and pores and skin ulcers, says Danny Ulrich, an Indigenous Australian who assisted the researchers.
In a laboratory experiment, Dong and his colleagues uncovered quite a pair of bacterial and fungal pathogens to diversified doses of the honey. They found that a water solution made up of 8 per cent honey killed the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus – a main situation off of pores and skin and soft tissue infections that would possibly per chance well presumably also additionally outcome in pneumonia or enter the blood, bones or joints.
At a 16 per cent focus, the honey killed some fungi species, comparable to Aspergillus fumigatus and Cryptococcus deuterogattii, which would per chance both situation off severe medical complications.
When the researchers when in contrast the ant honey to sorts of bee honey with identified antimicrobial properties, comparable to Manuka, the ant honey killed a narrower fluctuate of micro organism and fungi. As an example, it became ineffective against fungi comparable to Candida albicans, which would per chance situation off thrush, and micro organism admire Escherichia coli, a situation off of meals poisoning. Manuka and diversified sorts of bee honey killed both of those pathogens.
Most honey made by bees contains hydrogen peroxide, which is regarded as the provision of its antimicrobial properties. Ant honey contains powerful much less of this molecule, suggesting that there is one thing chemically outlandish about it, says crew member Kenya Fernandes at the University of Sydney. “We hypothesise that it’s presumably to be an antimicrobial peptide that’s being produced by the ants.”
Ant honey is uncommon and culturally well-known to Indigenous Australians, says Fernandes. It is therefore no longer in point of fact to ever be favorite at as soon as in medicines, she says. The crew hopes to name the honey’s active compounds so these can one day be replicated when atmosphere up new treatments, says Fernandes.