Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to healthcare this century. Bacteria have become increasingly more resistant to antibiotics as a result of their overuse. As a consequence, infections that were easily treated with antibiotics a decade ago may once again become again life-threatening. According to Public Health England, it is estimated that 10 million lives will be lost to Antibiotic Resistance by the year 2050 globally. The antimicrobial activity of propolis is well documented with strong evidence relating to its efficacy against Gram positive bacteria. However the potential interaction of propolis with antibiotics has received much less attention. A number of studies have demonstrated that propolis interacts with antibiotics in a synergistic manner, which indicates that the presence of propolis does not just add to the action of the antibiotic but produces an action greater than the sum of the parts. This effect is particularly evident in bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
In this talk we will review the evidence for this synergistic activity of propolis with antibiotics, a line of enquiry that we have been exploring as it offers a potential powerful tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance.