The Manchester Royal Infirmary, which has been using the Manuka honey since May, have had success using it on special honey-coated surgical dressings that can help fight antibiotic-resistant infections.
The Christie Hospital staff has been buying the $22-a-jar honey in bulk. They have bought more than 880 pounds thus far. They hope that the honey, produced by bees that mainly feed on the nectar of the New Zealand Manuka bush, will help reduce the patients' inflammation and shrink their chances of contracting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA), a common and penicillin-resistant infection. Sixty of the cancer patients at Christie have volunteered to have the honey used in their treatment.
"This study has been generously funded by local people and patients - and we are extremely grateful to them," said Dr. Nick Slevin, the specialist leading the program. "Manuka honey has special anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties and is believed to reduce the likelihood of MRSA infection."