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Background: The present study was carried out to assess the antimicrobial effect of honey on bacterial isolates from sachet water sold within Eligbolo Community in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methodology: Five brands of sachet water commonly consumed by the people living in Eligbolo Community of Port Harcourt, Nigeria were purchased from different Vendors in the community. Nutrient and MacConkey agar plates were used for culturing of water samples using spread plate method. Ten-fold serial dilution and Most Probable Number (MPN) were among the methods used and the samples analyzed were according to standard procedures. Natural honey purchased from Ogbokolo in Benue State, Nigeria was used for susceptibility testing. Quality control, ant inhibition and water test methods were performed using the honey to confirm its originality before use. Antimicrobial sensitivity testing was done using the agar well diffusion method.
Results: Results obtained showed the bacterial isolated from the 5 sachet brands of water. These include Bacillus species 5 (62.5%), Enterococcus faecalis 1 (12.5%), Staphylococcus epidermidis 1 (12.5%), and Escherichia coli 1 (12.5%). All of the 5 sachet water samples analyzed failed to meet the WHO drinking water standard of zero coliform per 100 ml making them unsuitable for human consumption. Faecal coliform was isolated from sample C indicating faecal contamination of the drinking water. The sensitivity of the isolates to the honey sample showed higher zone of inhibition compared to the standard antibiotic used as control. Staphylococcus epidermidis showed the highest zone of inhibition (39 mm), followed by Escherichia coli (37 mm), Bacillus species (35 mm) and Enterococcus faecalis (32 mm) respectively.
Conclusion: The results revealed that honey has a broad antimicrobial spectrum against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and could provide alternative agent to overcome the problem of increasingly bacteria resistance to synthetic antimicrobial agents. It is therefore, recommended that further work should be encouraged for the extraction of the crude components of honey and their use for antibiotic production.
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