Novel biological agents for prevention and treatment of American foul brood infection in honey bee mini colonies

Proof of Concept, Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia, 5783, 2020-2021
Principal Investigator: Dr Nemanja Stanisavljevic
Participants from IMGGE: Dr Milan Kojic, dr Ivana Strahinic

Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), is a main bacterial pathogen affecting honeybees worldwide and causing significant economic losses. Existing AFB treatment involves incineration of infected colonies or antibiotic application, neither of which is fully satisfactory. Recently Brevibacillus laterosporus species has emerged as potent antimicrobial agent against P. larvae vegetative forms while bacteriophages have been successfully applied against P. larvae resilient sporesin vitro. The main novelty presented in the current proposal reflects in application of B. laterosporus spores for prevention of AFB and bacteriophage therapy for elimination of infection, without application of antibiotics. B. laterosporus strains from our laboratory collection will be used while bacteriophages will be isolated from environmental samples. Spray dried spores of B. laterosporus will be administrated to adult honeybees and larva through diet, prior infection, to assess their AFB prevention potential while the bacteriophage cocktail will be applied in mini-colonies with developed AFB symptoms to evaluate the healing effects. The final goal is to evaluate the efficiency of mentioned biological agents in sustainable protection from AFB. Future products derived from the agents, together with specific application protocol are eligible for patent protection, since no similar solutions have been patented so far.


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