This study aimed to determine the antifungal effect of Ethiopian multiflora honey against Candida species isolated from the oral cavity of AIDS patients. Oral rinses were obtained from 13 AIDS patients and cultured on CHROMagar plates at 378C for 48 hours. Candida species were identified by microbiological and molecular techniques. The antifungal effect of the honey sample on Candida was investigated by an agar dilution technique. Susceptibility of the Candida species to fluconazole was tested following a semi-modified microdilution method. Growth of both fluconazole-susceptible and -resistant Candida species was inhibited with a minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of 35-40% (v/v) honey. The MFC of different Candida species was not significantly different (P > 0.05). From the total of 25 Candida isolates tested for susceptibility, 11 (44%), eight (32%) and six (24%) of the isolates were sensitive (minimum inhibitory concentrations [MICs] < 8 μg/mL), susceptible (dose-dependent: MICs 16-32 μg/mL) and resistant (MICs > 64 μg/mL) to fluconazole, respectively. Ethiopian multiflora honey has antifungal activity against fluconazole-resistant Candida species isolated from the oral cavity of AIDS patients. This supports the existing folkloric practice of using honey to treat oral lesions. Nevertheless, identification of the bioactive agents in honey, their clinical evaluation and pharmacological standardization are crucial.
- Antifungal effect