Background: Otomycosis has been reported to be prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The causative pathogens causing otomycosis include Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans, for which the antifungal treatment regime has not been clearly standardized. Honey is a natural product which has been widely studied for various properties, including antimicrobial properties. This study was aimed at determining the antifungal activities of three types of Malaysian honey; Tualang, Acacia and Kelulut honey, against fungal pathogens of otomycosis. Methods: The honey samples were examined for antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. Honey was incorporated into Sabouraud dextrose agar at concentrations of 5% (v/v), 10% (v/v), 20% (v/v) and 25% (v/v). Conidial suspension was inoculated and spread onto honey-SDA agar plates. After incubation colony counts were determined. Results: The honey samples demonstrated varying levels of inhibitory activity at various concentrations against the fungi tested with colony count reducing with increasing honey concentration. All three honeys showed total growth inhibition at 25% (v/v) concentration. Comparing the three types of honey, Kelulut honey was shown to be the most active against the tested fungi. Conclusion: The three honeys used in the study showed promising antifungal activity. Malaysian honeys have shown potential as antifungal substances for possible development of antifungal drugs for the treatment of fungal infections such as otomycosis.
Key words: Malaysia, Honey, Otomycosis, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans.