SurgihoneyRO offers the natural wound healing properties of honey with the potent antimicrobial action of the engineered product.

Its antimicrobial effect is due to the release of Reactive Oxygen®, from the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide, at a controlled antimicrobial potency and therapeutic dose to the infection site for a sustained period. Laboratory testing shows this can be for upto three days.(1)

The topical wound gel destroys all Gram-positive and negative bacteria tested to date, including MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginonsa and Esherichia coli. It also prevents and disrupts the build-up of bacterial colonies, or biofilm, linked with chronic infection in vitro.(15, 27)

“Given the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance and the ever-increasing need to find new solutions to treat infections, SurgihoneyRO has real potential as a new wound care agent to kill bacteria and disrupt biofilm.”

– Fenella Halstead, clinical scientist, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre

NIHR clinical scientists Dr Mark Webber and Fenella Halstead

ROS Mode of Action

Reactive Oxygen species (ROS), mainly hydrogen peroxide, occur naturally in the body as a host defence against infection and has multiple roles – killing invading microbes, messaging repair cells and stimulating new tissue growth. (10,13)

The term ROS applies to highly reactive oxygen radicals, including hydrogen peroxide H2O2. Hydrogen peroxide is unstable and rapidly breaks down to H20 and O- ROS appears to kill bacteria by disrupting the cell structures including DNA and cell membranes.(13,15,26)It possesses concentration dependent activity and toxicity.

While hydrogen peroxide is a common disinfectant due to its bacteria-killing properties, it can damage human tissue at higher concentrations and the duration of its activity is too short to be of use as a therapeutic agent. By contrast, SurgihoneyRO gel releases low levels of ROS to the infection site for a sustained period rather than a large amount at the time of dressing.(6,13) It can destroy the most deadly drug-resistant bacteria and is safe to use on healing tissue.

ROS are pivotal in the normal wound healing response 13, 26) They act as secondary messengers to immunocytes and non-lymphoid cells and regulation of angiogenesis perfusion in the wound area. SurgihoneyRO can be particularly useful when there is stalled healing, for example in chronic leg ulcers, pressure injury and infected surgical wounds as well as burns. (26)

Figure : Confocal scanning laser microscopy images of MRSA untreated and so live (green). Following treatment with SurgihoneyROa significant portion of the population have been killed (red).

Source: University of Southampton, Upper Airway Research Group

Battling biofilms:

Scientists from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre, the research arm of the NHS, demonstrated SurgihoneyRO is highly effective at tackling a wide variety of bacterial biofilm found in chronic wounds in vitro.(15) Read the paper

The Halstead study found SurgihoneyRO could prevent biofilm for all 16 bacteria tested, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative, including several major drug-resistant strains: MRSA, E.coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumanni and CRE Klebsiella pneumonia.

Wound care:

Globally, an ageing population alongside a rise in long-term conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, are creating greater demands for wound care management.

In a multi-centre clinical evaluation, SurgihoneyRO was observed to help a wide range of wounds progress toward healing (16) Read the paper.

The study involved patients with 114 non-healing wounds from both developed and undeveloped countries. They included 33 patients with leg ulcers, 20 with traumatic wounds, 18 with pressure ulcers, 14 with surgical wounds and five with diabetic ulcers.

Wounds were treated with SurgihoneyRO gel. Some 21 per cent healed and 79 per cent improved in the study period. Improvements included a reduction in wound pain, exudate, dead tissue, inflammation and bacterial load.

Prevention of Surgical Site Infection:

In addition to its therapeutic role, there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating SurgihoneyRO can play an important part in surgical prophylaxis and infection prevention. Surgical site infections (SSI) can double the length of hospital stay, significantly increase healthcare costs and reduce quality of life.

Caesarean wound infection is a major cause of comorbidities with wound infections nationally around 10 per cent. A pilot study at a NHS hospital trust found application of SurgihoneyROimmediately after surgery in women undergoing caesarean sections reduced infection rates by 60 per cent from 5.4 per cent before intervention to 2.15 per cent when using the product.(3)

Two further clinical evaluations of its use in the prevention of surgical wound infections are underway, including one at University College London Hospital.

A separate pilot study showed SurgihoneyRO could reduce infection rates associated with cancer patients receiving chemotherapy through intravenous lines – even those colonised with Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), a Gram-negative bacteria resistant to the carbapenem class of antibiotics, considered the drug of last resort for such infections (4,7)