Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(6), pp. 459-464, 18 March, 2010
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/JMPR
ISSN 1996-0875© 2010 Academic Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of honeybee
(Apis mellifera) venom against acne-inducing bacteria
SangMi Han1*, KwangGil Lee1, JooHong Yeo1, HaJu Baek2 and Kwankyu Park3
1Department of Agricultural Biology, National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon, Korea.
2Kyeongbuk Government Public Institute of Health and Environmental, Daegu, Korea.
3Department of Pathology, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Accepted 15 February, 2010
Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous follicles. Propionibacterium acnes
plays a critical role in the development of these inflammatory lesions. The present study was conducted
to evaluate the antimicrobial property of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom (BV) against the etiologic
agents of acne vulgaris. Incubation of the skin bacteria P. acnes, clindamycin-resistant P. acnes,
Staphylococcus epidermidis or Streptococcus pyrogenes with BV yielded the minimal inhibitory
concentration (MIC). Production of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis
factor- (TNF-)) were examined in THP-1 cells. BV MIC values were 0.086, 0.067, 0.104 and 0.121 µg /ml
against P. acnes, clindamycin-resistant P. acnes, S. epidermidis, and S. pyrogenes, respectively. In
time-kill studies, BV was bacteriostatic in action. In addition, BV exhibited low cytotoxicity at 10 µg /ml
in human epidermal keratinocytes and monocytes. In addition, BV reduced the P. acnes-induced
secretion of IL-8 and TNF- in THP-1 cells, an indication of its anti-inflammatory effects. Based on these
results, BV has effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity against P. acnes, and we suggest
that BV is an alternative treatment for antibiotic therapy of acne vulgaris.
Key words: Bee venom, acne, Propi