Comvita NZ Ltd

Te Puke, New Zealand

Comvita NZ Ltd

Te Puke, New Zealand
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Bong J.,University of Auckland | Prijic G.,University of Auckland | Prijic G.,Comvita NZ Ltd | Braggins T.J.,Analytica Laboratories Ltd | And 5 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2017

New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey exhibits two unique fluorescence signatures that distinguish it from other honey types. One of these is the MM1 fluorescence marker (270–365 nm excitation–emission) which we show is due to a Leptospermum nectar-derived compound, leptosperin. Synthetic or honey-purified leptosperin not only displayed an identical fluorescence spectrum, but supplementation of leptosperin into clover or artificial honeys generated the MM1 fluorescence signature. There was a quenching effect of the honey matrix on leptosperin fluorescence but otherwise leptosperin was chemically stable over prolonged storage at 37 °C. Leptosperin was also present in the woody-fruited Australian Leptospermum species at elevated concentrations but virtually absent in Leptospermum subtenue suggesting its elevated expression developed following the mid-Miocene separation of the genus. These findings suggest that fluorescence spectroscopy could offer a rapid and high-throughput screening method for identification of Leptospermum honeys using the MM1 fluorescence marker. © 2016


Bong J.,University of Auckland | Loomes K.M.,University of Auckland | Loomes K.M.,Maurice Wilkins Center for Molecular Biodiscovery | Lin B.,University of Auckland | And 2 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2017

New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) and kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) honeys contain a unique array of chemical markers useful for chemical fingerprinting. We investigated the presence of 13 potential marker compounds in nectars of the major honey crop species. We confirmed that leptosperin, lepteridine, 2'-methoxyacetophenone, and 2-methoxybenzoic acid are exclusive to manuka nectar whereas lumichrome is unique to kanuka nectar. 3-Phenyllactic acid and 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid are present in manuka and kanuka nectars. Leptosperin, lepteridine, 3-phenyllactic acid, and 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid are chemically stable over prolonged storage, but not 2-methoxybenzoic acid and 2'-methoxyacetophenone. Accordingly, leptosperin and lepteridine are definitive chemical markers for authentication of manuka honey. An optimal concentration cut-off was established for the floral source-specific markers: leptosperin (94. mg/kg), lepteridine (2.1. mg/kg), 2'-methoxyacetophenone (2.0. mg/kg) for manuka honey, and lumichrome (4.5. mg/kg) for kanuka honey. The use of leptosperin and lepteridine as fluorescence markers for manuka honey authentication is reinforced. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.


Liu M.,University of Technology, Sydney | Lu J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Muller P.,University of Technology, Sydney | Turnbull L.,University of Technology, Sydney | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2014

Skin infections caused by antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus are a significant health problem worldwide; often associated with high treatment cost and mortality rate. Complex natural products like New Zealand (NZ) manuka honey have been revisited and studied extensively as an alternative to antibiotics due to their potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and the inability to isolate honey-resistant S. aureus. Previous studies showing synergistic effects between manuka-type honeys and antibiotics have been demonstrated against the growth of one methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain. We have previously demonstrated strong synergistic activity between NZ manukatype honey and rifampicin against growth and biofilm formation of multiple S. arueus strains. Here, we have expanded our investigation using multiple S. aureus strains and four different antibiotics commonly used to treat S. aureus-related skin infections: rifampicin, oxacillin, gentamicin and clindamycin. Using checkerboard microdilution and agar diffusion assays with S. aureus strains including clinical isolates and MRSA we demonstrate that manuka-type honey combined with these four antibiotics frequently produces a synergistic effect. In some cases when synergism was not observed, there was a significant enhancement in antibiotic susceptibility. Some strains that were highly resistant to an antibiotic when present alone become sensitive to clinically-achievable concentrations when combined with honey. However, not all of the S. aureus strains tested responded in the same way to these combinational treatments. Our findings support the use of NZ manuka-type honeys in clinical treatment against S. aureus-related infections and extend their potential use as an antibiotic adjuvant in combinational therapy. Our data also suggest that manuka-type honeys may not work as antibiotic adjuvants for all strains of S. aureus, and this may help determine the mechanistic processes behind honey synergy. © 2014 Liu, Lu, Mueller, Turnbull, Burke, Schlothauer, Carter, Whitchurch and Harry.


Lu J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Carter D.A.,University of Sydney | Turnbull L.,University of Technology, Sydney | Rosendale D.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Treatment of chronic wounds is becoming increasingly difficult due to antibiotic resistance. Complex natural products with antimicrobial activity, such as honey, are now under the spotlight as alternative treatments to antibiotics. Several studies have shown honey to have broad-spectrum antibacterial activity at concentrations present in honey dressings, and resistance to honey has not been attainable in the laboratory. However not all honeys are the same and few studies have used honey that is well defined both in geographic and chemical terms. Here we have used a range of concentrations of clover honey and a suite of manuka and kanuka honeys from known geographical locations, and for which the floral source and concentration of methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide potential were defined, to determine their effect on growth and cellular morphology of four bacteria: Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While the general trend in effectiveness of growth inhibition was manuka>manuka-kanuka blend>kanuka>clover, the honeys had varying and diverse effects on the growth and cellular morphology of each bacterium, and each organism had a unique response profile to these honeys. P. aeruginosa showed a markedly different pattern of growth inhibition to the other three organisms when treated with sub-inhibitory concentrations of honey, being equally sensitive to all honeys, including clover, and the least sensitive to honey overall. While hydrogen peroxide potential contributed to the antibacterial activity of the manuka and kanuka honeys, it was never essential for complete growth inhibition. Cell morphology analysis also showed a varied and diverse set of responses to the honeys that included cell length changes, cell lysis, and alterations to DNA appearance. These changes are likely to reflect the different regulatory circuits of the organisms that are activated by the stress of honey treatment. © 2013 Lu et al.


Lu J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Turnbull L.,University of Technology, Sydney | Burke C.M.,University of Technology, Sydney | Liu M.,University of Technology, Sydney | And 4 more authors.
PeerJ | Year: 2014

Chronic wounds are a major global health problem. Their management is difficult and costly, and the development of antibiotic resistance by both planktonic and biofilm-associated bacteria necessitates the use of alternative wound treatments. Honey is now being revisited as an alternative treatment due to its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and the inability of bacteria to develop resistance to it. Many previous antibacterial studies have used honeys that are not well characterized, even in terms of quantifying the levels of the major antibacterial components present, making it difficult to build an evidence base for the efficacy of honey as an antibiofilm agent in chronic wound treatment. Here we show that a range of well-characterized New Zealand manuka-type honeys, in which two principle antibacterial components, methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide, were quantified, can eradicate biofilms of a range of Staphylococcus aureus strains that differ widely in their biofilm-forming abilities. Using crystal violet and viability assays, along with confocal laser scanning imaging, we demonstrate that in all S. aureus strains, including methicillin-resistant strains, the manuka-type honeys showed significantly higher anti-biofilm activity than clover honey and an isotonic sugar solution.We observed higher anti-biofilm activity as the proportion of manuka-derived honey, and thus methylglyoxal, in a honey blend increased. However, methylglyoxal on its own, or with sugar, was not able to effectively eradicate S. aureus biofilms.We also demonstrate that honey was able to penetrate through the biofilm matrix and kill the embedded cells in some cases. As has been reported for antibiotics, sub-inhibitory concentrations of honey improved biofilm formation by some S. aureus strains, however, biofilm cell suspensions recovered after honey treatment did not develop resistance towards manukatype honeys. New Zealand manuka-type honeys, at the concentrations they can be applied in wound dressings are highly active in both preventing S. aureus biofilm formation and in their eradication, and do not result in bacteria becoming resistant. Methylglyoxal requires other components in manuka-type honeys for this antibiofilm activity. Our findings support the use of well-defined manuka-type honeys as a topical anti-biofilm treatment for the effective management of wound healing. © 2014 Lu et al.


Muller P.,University of Technology, Sydney | Alber D.G.,University of Technology, Sydney | Turnbull L.,University of Technology, Sydney | Schlothauer R.C.,Comvita NZ Ltd | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Skin and chronic wound infections caused by highly antibiotic resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are an increasing and urgent health problem worldwide, particularly with sharp increases in obesity and diabetes. New Zealand manuka honey has potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, has been shown to inhibit the growth of MRSA strains, and bacteria resistant to this honey have not been obtainable in the laboratory. Combinational treatment of chronic wounds with manuka honey and common antibiotics may offer a wide range of advantages including synergistic enhancement of the antibacterial activity, reduction of the effective dose of the antibiotic, and reduction of the risk of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Medihoney in combination with the widely used antibiotic rifampicin on S. aureus. Using checkerboard microdilution assays, time-kill curve experiments and agar diffusion assays, we show a synergism between Medihoney and rifampicin against MRSA and clinical isolates of S. aureus. Furthermore, the Medihoney/rifampicin combination stopped the appearance of rifampicin-resistant S. aureus in vitro. Methylglyoxal (MGO), believed to be the major antibacterial compound in manuka honey, did not act synergistically with rifampicin and is therefore not the sole factor responsible for the synergistic effect of manuka honey with rifampicin. Our findings support the idea that a combination of honey and antibiotics may be an effective new antimicrobial therapy for chronic wound infections. © 2013 Müller et al.


Stephens J.M.,Comvita NZ Ltd | Schlothauer R.C.,Comvita NZ Ltd | Morris B.D.,New Hill | Yang D.,New Hill | And 3 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2010

The principal phenolic compounds and methylglyoxal were analysed in New Zealand Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) and Kunzea ericoides (kanuka) honeys. These honeys shared six phenolic acids as primary components and differentiation was possible as relative proportions varied. Manuka honey contained an elevated concentration of a trimethoxybenzoic acid and methylglyoxal; and 2-methoxybenzoic acid and methylglyoxal concentrations were linearly correlated in fresh manuka honey. Kanuka honey contained an elevated concentration of methoxyphenyllactic acid. The concentration of the phenolic components increased with maturation in both honey types; and this profile development, along with a corresponding increase of methylglyoxal concentration, was linear in manuka honey. Nectar analysed from the plant species contained the same phenolic components as the honeys. These results demonstrated the phenolic profile could be used to differentiate the honey types, heat treatment of honey could be identified, and the presence of these components may contribute to the efficacy of these honeys in therapeutic uses. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Daniels B.J.,University of Auckland | Prijic G.,Comvita NZ Ltd | Prijic G.,University of Auckland | Meidinger S.,University of Auckland | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2016

Manuka honey, made from the nectar of Leptospermum scoparium, has garnered scientific and economical interest due to its nonperoxide antibacterial activity. Biomarkers for genuine manuka honey are increasingly in demand due to the presence of counterfeit manuka honey. This work reports the identification of a compound previously unreported in manuka honey by HPLC, and determination of the structure of the as 3,6,7-trimethyllumazine using NMR, MS, IR, and UV/vis spectroscopy. This assignment was confirmed by total synthesis. The natural product, renamed lepteridine, was only observed in manuka honeys and could potentially serve as a biomarker for genuine manuka honey. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


Fearnley L.,University of Auckland | Greenwood D.R.,University of Auckland | Greenwood D.R.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Schmitz M.,University of Auckland | And 5 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

Manuka honey is used medicinally as a wound-healing dressing and possesses antibacterial bioactivities. It also possesses immunomodulating properties, comprising both anti-inflammatory and immune stimulating activities. At present its active components have not been identified. Given the importance of manuka honey as a therapeutic, we performed high-resolution Fourier-transform mass spectrometry analysis, in order to gain an insight into its complex make-up, as well as examining other honeys derived from different floral origins and storage conditions. Our analyses show that manuka-derived honeys contain unique compounds, particularly in the high molecular weight range, compared to other honeys from other floral species. Storage conditions also directly impact on the molecular composition. An archetypal mother molecule specific to manuka honey was identified that may serve as a precursor store for free 3,4,5- trimethoxybenzoic acid and provide a means of fingerprinting manuka honeys. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


PubMed | University of Auckland and Comvita NZ Ltd
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of agricultural and food chemistry | Year: 2016

Manuka honey, made from the nectar of Leptospermum scoparium, has garnered scientific and economical interest due to its nonperoxide antibacterial activity. Biomarkers for genuine manuka honey are increasingly in demand due to the presence of counterfeit manuka honey. This work reports the identification of a compound previously unreported in manuka honey by HPLC, and determination of the structure of the as 3,6,7-trimethyllumazine using NMR, MS, IR, and UV/vis spectroscopy. This assignment was confirmed by total synthesis. The natural product, renamed lepteridine, was only observed in manuka honeys and could potentially serve as a biomarker for genuine manuka honey.

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