Immune defense of rats immunized with fennel honey, propolis, and bee venom against induced staphylococcal infection.
J Med Food. 2009 Jun;12(3):569-75. PMID: 19627205
The objective of this work was to evaluate the potency of bee product-immunized rats to overcome an induced Staphylococcus aureus infection. Forty rats were divided to eight groups: T1, T3, and T5 received, respectively, fennel honey, ethanol, and aqueous propolis extracts orally, and T2, T4, and T6 were administered the respective materials intraperitoneally; T7 received bee venom by the bee sting technique; and T8 was the control group. All groups were challenged by a bovine clinical mastitis isolate of S. aureus. Each rat received 2 mL of broth inoculated with 1 x 10(5) colony-forming units/mL intraperitoneally. Two weeks post-induced infection all rats were sacrificed and eviscerated for postmortem inspection and histopathological study. Three rats from T8 and one rat from T7 died before sacrifice. Another two rats, one each in T4 and T5, had morbidity manifestations. The remaining experimental animals showed apparently healthy conditions until time of sacrifice. Postmortem inspection revealed that all T8 rats showed different degrees of skeletal muscle and internal organ paleness with scattered focal pus nodules mainly on lungs and livers. All rats of the treated groups showed normal postmortem features except three rats. A dead rat in group T7 showed focal pus nodules on the lung surface only, whereas the affected two rats in groups T4 and T5 appeared normal except with some pus nodules, but much smaller than in the control, scattered on the hepatic surface and mesentery. Histopathological studies revealed that T8 rats had typical suppurative bronchopneumonia and or severe degenerative and necrobiotic changes in hepatic tissues. Three affected rats of the treated groups showed slight bronchopneumonia or degenerative hepatic changes only. The other animals of the treated groups showed completely normal parenchymatous organs with stimulated lymphatic tissues. It was concluded that all tested previously bee product-immunized rats could significantly challenge the induced S. aureus infection (P < .01). The effects were more pronounced in rats that had received fennel honey solution.