Antimicrobial Activity of Honeybee Plant-Derived Products
Pp. 388-435 (48)
Miroslava Kačániová and Cristina Almeida-Aguiar
Bee products have always been used as foods and/or as therapeutic agents
against a number of diseases in alternative medicine since almost immemorial times.
The millennial track record of the health and nutritional benefits of such natural bee
products is being supported more recently by scientific research. The antimicrobial
activity of bee products is considered one of its widespread and most important
bioactivities, and highlights the potential of these natural products as promising
antimicrobial agents for clinical and biotechnological applications. Honey and propolis
fulfill all the criteria of ideal candidates for treatment of non-healing wounds and other
diseases caused by microorganisms. These natural products find application against
resistant pathogenic microorganisms without the risk of antimicrobial resistance
acquisition and prevent the formation or distortion of biofilms. Honey is regarded as a
pure natural and functional product of high nutritional value. Honey factors that
contribute to its antimicrobial activity are diverse but researchers consider both the high
sugar concentration and low pH as well as the presence of hydrogen peroxide,
methylglyoxal and bee defensin-1 (an antimicrobial peptide) as the most relevant in
Propolis is a sticky resin produced by bees, especially from coniferous, having plantderived
and bee-released compounds, but with a chemical composition difficult to
standardize due to its dependence on vegetation, season and environmental conditions
at the collection site. The mechanism of propolis antimicrobial activity is complex,
probably relying in a synergistic activity between different phenolic compounds such
as flavonoids and phenolic acids along with other components. Pollen is a source of
phytochemicals and nutrients, extremely rich in carotenoids, flavonoids and
phytosterols. Although less studied for this bioactivity, bee pollen has also been proven
to possess antimicrobial activity.
Antibacterial activity, Antifungal activity, Antiviral activity, Bacteria,
Bees, Biofilm, Concentration, Nectar, Pathogenic microorganisms, Peroxidase
activity, Phenolic compounds, Pollen, Propolis, Resistance, Synergism, Yeasts.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia.