Honey Bees May Play Important Role in Developing New Antibiotics

Bote con medicamentos

Our honey bees contribute something more for the well-being of humanity, and not only the raw honey, royal jelly and pollen they produce, because these small insects can give us a lot of knowledge, and their extinction would close us to clues for new investigations.

If you are interested in the benefits of raw honey, we also recommend you read: The miraculous properties of honey

New research has discovered an antimicrobial compound that is made by these insects and which could be the basis for the development of new antibiotics, according to the results of new research conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (United States).

No new antibiotics have been developed for more than 30 years and some bacteria are developing resistance to antibiotics. This is due to the misuse that some of us make of them, because we use them without a prescription, we prescribe them to ourselves without knowledge or we do not apply correctly the treatment with the antibiotics, achieving that the bacteria create resistance and that the antibiotics lose their effectiveness or cannot prevent infections, in other words, the bacteria are becoming immune to the antibiotics and this is a great danger for our society.

Antibiotic resistance, considered one of the major health concerns today according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), could mean that diseases that were previously easily eradicated are now potentially deadly.

Putting numbers together, every year in the United States, at least two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections where antibiotics have lost their effectiveness, according to the CDC. A large number of people also die each year due not to the direct action of these antibiotic-resistant bacteria but to the complications they cause along with other diseases.

Honey healing properties

Much has been said about the healing properties of honey, and this does not go unnoticed in new research. Just as bees and their methods of disinfection do not go unnoticed. They may have a lot to say in the next advances in antibiotics, as this new research has brought to light.

Api137, produced by honey bees

In this new study published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, researchers at the University of Chicago and led by co-investigator Alexander Mankin and researcher Nora Vázquez-Laslop of the College of the Pharmacy Center for Biomolecular Sciences, have discovered how a derivative of the antibiotic apidaecin (Api137) can block protein production in malignant bacteria that cause infections.

Many antibiotics kill bacteria by pointing at their ribosomes, the chestnuts are the ones that produce all the proteins in the cell. The production of proteins can be interrupted by interfering with different stages of the genetic translation process, at which point the DNA is translated for the formation of protein molecules, as Mankin explained. In addition, he added: “E Api137 is the first inhibitor known to act at the stage of completion of genetic translation.

Api137 is a natural product produced by our honey bees, wasps and hornets. In nature, many organisms make this compound themselves to defend themselves against infection, which is made up of antibacterial peptides, or small proteins. Peptides can be used as antibiotics if we now understand how they work, according to Tanja Florin, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois in Chicago who has collaborated in the research.

“This research has been the result of excellent collaboration by our entire team,” said Vázquez-Laslop, who worked with two research groups in Germany. “Now we can use the new Api137 discovery to develop new drugs to kill these antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Manuka honey, thyme honey, the best honeys for infections

On the other hand, honeys and propolis have bactericidal and antimicrobial properties, among which have greater ability to fight bacteria would be manuka honey, is especially acts against bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Among the Spanish ones, eucalyptus honey stands out for the respiratory tree, heather honey for the urinary system and lavender and thyme honey in general for any infection.

Photo 1: Basket with a wide variety of raw honeys

The Importance of Our Honey Bees

The world of beekeeping, bees, honey, propileo and royal jelly hides secrets that we must keep investigating, because science continues to reveal new properties and enigmas that hide these insects so social. If bees disappeared from the earth, it would not only produce an environmental catastrophe and lovers of quality honey, raw honey would be left without it, but we would also be left without very important information that hides its biology.

From the Cortijuelo de San Benito we invite you to discover more about this world of bees, their raw honeys, propolis and royal jelly in our blog of honey and olive oil, where you can find a lot of information on these topics. You can also find more detailed information about each honey and its specific properties.

Finally, we offer the widest variety of raw honeys in Spain and Europe, most common honeys such as orange blossom honey, heather, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, thyme; international honeys such as manuka, linden and acacia and rarer ones such as chestnut, coriander, almond and blackberry.



Revista científica Phys.Org. Honeybees could play a role in developing new antibiotics. https://phys.org 7 de septiembre del 2017.

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