- Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- Lund University
Lamei, S; Stephan, JG; Riesbeck, K; Nilsson, B; Forsgren, E
American Foulbrood (AFB) is a particularly pernicious bacterial disease of honey bees due to the extreme persistence of endospores of the causative agent Paenibacillus larvae. These spores are resistant to harsh environmental conditions, unaffected by antimicrobial agents and can remain viable for decades. The germination of the endospore in the larval midgut is the crucial first step leading to infection, followed by vegetative growth, tissue invasion and disease, culminating in spore formation when the host ' s nutrients have been exhausted. Therefore, inhibiting spore germination or impeding early vegetative growth would be a highly effective strategy for limiting the impact of AFB. We previously showed that honey bee-specific lactic acid bacteria (hbs-LAB) had a major inhibitory effect on P. larvae both in culture and in larval bioassays. The present study documents the progress towards characterization of compounds, processes and interactions between P. larvae and the hbs-LAB responsible for this inhibitory effect. Firstly, we used an agar diffusion assay and larval infection bioassay to show that most, if not all, of the inhibitory effect was associated with the extracellular fraction (secretome). Secondly, we employed a turbidimetric growth assay to demonstrate that the hbs-LAB secretome strongly inhibited P. larvae vegetative growth, however, probably not by reducing spore germination. The inhibition was similarly effective against both major P. larvae genotypes (ERIC-I and II) in all experiments. The implications of our results for characterization of the secretome and for the management and treatment of AFB and P. larvae are further discussed.
American foulbrood; antimicrobial factors; honey bees; honey bee-specific lactic acid bacteria; Paenibacillus larvae; secretome; spore germination; vegetative cells
Journal of Apicultural Research
2019, Volume: 58, number: 3, pages: 405-412