Honey and the antibiotic crisis

Did you know that by 2050 antibiotic resistance is predicted to kill more people annually than cancer? You can support innovative research engineering new ways to deliver an antibiotic derived from honey. If you would like to be part of the solution by making a donation, please contact us or make a gift online. 

The antibiotic apocalypse

Antibiotic resistance is predicted to kill more people than cancer annually by 2050, but there have been no new classes of antibiotics discovered since the 1980s.

Imagine a world where emergency surgery and even routine operations, such as hip replacements and pacemakers, are too dangerous because the risk of infection is so high. 

Antibiotic resistance happens when the bacteria that cause infections mutate in response to the use of these medicines, so the treatments are no longer effective. Without a change in society's behaviour and the development of new antibiotics, we are heading towards an era where minor injuries and common infections can once again kill.

A solution from nature

Sophie Cox in laboratory with microscopeHoney contains natural antibiotics called reactive oxygen species which destroy bacteria and are produced naturally by the body to fight infection. However, it is sticky and difficult to apply the correct dose.

Chemical engineer Dr Sophie Cox and her team are working on ways to deliver a sterile honey product to wounds, including a spray, a cream, and a powder – making it effective in surgery, war zones and potentially in all of our homes. 

The spray, cream and powder will enable the product to be used more widely across the body and can control how the drug is released for accurate dosage.

Imagine a war zone. When mixed with water, the powder becomes a gel and when applied to a wound will create a protective barrier. This allows it to be used to treat soldiers wounded in combat at the scene, saving time and preventing infection until they are transported to hospital. 

Excellence at the University of Birmingham

The University has a history of research excellence in antibiotic resistance. This includes experts such as Professor Laura Piddock, Director of Antibiotic Action and a leading voice in the debate about the lack of new antibacterial treatments. 

Sophie’s team are part of our Healthcare Technologies Institute, a group of experts from a broad range of disciplines working together to ensure people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

Your gift will help save lives 

Charitable gifts are essential in enabling this ground-breaking research to become a reality. Your donation will help buy  lab equipment and additional researchers to progress the development of the honey products.

We need to raise £250,000 to enable this exciting research to move forward at the required pace. Be part of this life-saving innovation by kindly donating. Every penny makes a difference. Some examples of what is needed are below:

  • A ball mill to enable the powder to be produced consistently as new formulas are developed costs £5,000. It would only require ten donors to each give £500 to make this happen
  • £15,000 could go towards funding a PhD student to work on perfecting the way the honey is engineered
  • Please talk to us about how making a larger gift could accelerate this important research

A gift of any amount will help stall antibiotic resistance. To be a part of this essential medical advancement and help Sophie and her team, please give now using our online donation form. To speak about your gift and the difference it will make, please call Emily Henderson on +44 (0)121 414 6879 or email her on e.g.henderson@bham.ac.uk. Thank you so much!