Antifungal activity of honey from stingless bee Melipona beecheii against Candida albicans
At present there is a growing interest in the search of novel antifungals in natural products. Honey of Melipona beecheii, a stingless bee species, is used to treat a wide spectrum of diseases for centuries. Recently, M. beecheii honey is of great interest in Mexico and Central America due to its biological activities, especially antimicrobial effects. However, antifungal properties of Melipona honey remain poorly explored. The main purpose of this study was to establish the effects of M. beecheii honey treatment against Candida albicans, determining inhibition of growth and changes on cell wall. Agar diffusion assays and broth macrodilution method were employed to determine the antifungal effect of Melipona honey. Also, scanning electron microscopy was performed to study the effects on cell wall of C. albicans. As a result, we obtained that concentrations of 20% (v/v) and above inhibit the growth of C. albicans and induced dramatic changes in the structure and integrity of the cell wall. Remarkably, concentrations of 35% (v/v) caused fungicidal effect in vitro against this opportunistic pathogen. Therefore, this natural product may be an attractive source of new antifungal compounds, useful in treatments of recalcitrant infections.