An in vitro comparison of the antimicrobial activity of honey, iodine and silver wound dressings
Claire E. Bradshaw
Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
30 Jun 2010
20 Jan 2011
23 Feb 2011
antimicrobial, wound dressing, silver, honey, iodine, chronic wound
The main line of treatment for chronic wounds is the application of an appropriate dressing. Dressings can be used to reduce odour and pain, maintain a moist healing environment, remove excessive exudate and prevent clinical infection. Antimicrobial compounds such as silver, honey and iodine have been in use for millennia. The discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century greatly reduced the routine usage of such compounds. More recently, there has been renewed interest in these compounds, with manufacturers adding these to dressings to provide greater antimicrobial action and aid the healing process. Much of the published literature on the antimicrobial properties of silver, honey and iodine-containing dressings is contradictory, with varying degrees of efficacy reported. This study aimed to independently compare the in vitro antimicrobial activity of a wide variety of dressings against common wound pathogens; Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in order to provide further evidence and aid dressing selection. Although no significant differences were reported between honey, iodine and silver; a significant difference was observed between the individual dressings, indicating that determination of bacterial species present within a wound can aid clinical staff in the selection of the most appropriate dressing.