ANTIBACTERIAL ACTION OF A BEE VENOM FRACTION (MELITTIN) AGAINST A PENICILLIN-RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AND OTHER MICROORGANISMS
NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LAB SAN FRANCISCO CA
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Bee venom and its melittin fraction were shown to have antibacterial activity against a penicillin-resistant strain of Staph aureus strain 80. This activity of bee venom and melittin was demonstrated by a method similar to that used for plate sensitivity tests. Both whole bee venom and its melittin fraction were also able to inhibit the growth of 20 of the 30 different bacterial organisms tested. More Gram positive organisms 86 were sensitive to bee venom and to melittin than Gram negatives 46. The antibacterial activity of bee venom and melittin were of the same magnitude. The zones of inhibition created by bee venom and melittin were compared with those caused by penicillin, and the equivalent units of penicillin were computed. The antibiotic potency of a single bee sting was also determined. Among the Gram positives, the antibacterial effect of a 110 dilution of whole liquid bee venom was equal to that of penicillin at a concentration of 0.093 to 17.0 unitsml. The same dilution of bee venom when tested against Gram negative organisms compared to a higher range of penicillin values-93 to 1,700 unitsml.