JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of Manuka honey gel on the transforming growth factor β1 and β3 concentrations, bacterial counts and histomorphology of contaminated full-thickness skin wounds in equine distal limbs

A S Bischofberger, C M Dart, N Horadagoda, N R Perkins, L B Jeffcott, C B Little, A J Dart
Australian Veterinary Journal 2016, 94 (1-2): 27-34
26814159

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of 66% Manuka honey gel on the concentrations of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β3, bacterial counts and histomorphology during healing of contaminated equine distal limb wounds.

METHODS: In this experimental study of 10 Standardbred horses, five full-thickness skin wounds (2 × 1.5 cm) were created on one metacarpus and six similar wounds were created on the contralateral metacarpus. Wounds were assigned to three groups: non-contaminated control wounds; contaminated control wounds; contaminated wounds treated daily with 1 mL Manuka honey gel topically for 10 days. For the contaminated wounds, faeces were applied for 24 h after wound creation. In five horses wounds were bandaged and in the other five horses wounds were left without a bandage. Biopsies were taken on days 1, 2, 7 and 10 after wounding to evaluate the effects of Manuka honey gel, wound contamination and bandaging on TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 concentrations, aerobic and anaerobic bacterial counts, and histomorphology.

RESULTS: Manuka honey gel had no significant effect on TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 concentrations or wound bacterial counts. Manuka honey gel decreased wound inflammation (days 7, 10), increased angiogenesis (days 2, 7, 10), increased fibrosis and collagen organisation (day 7) and increased epithelial hyperplasia (days 7, 10).

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with Manuka honey gel resulted in a more organised granulation tissue bed early in wound repair, which may contribute to enhanced healing of equine distal limb wounds.

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