Monday, December 28, 2009

Probiotic Bacteria in Honey Bee Stomach Inhibits Pathogens

Novel Lactic Acid Bacteria Inhibiting Paenibacillus Larvae in Honey Bee Larvae
Apidologie, 41 (2010) 99-108

We evaluated the antagonistic effects of newly identified lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, originating from the honey stomach, on the honey bee pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae. We used inhibition assays on agar plates and honey bee larval bioassays to investigate the effects of honey bee LAB on P. larvae growth in vitro and on AFB infection in vivo. The individual LAB phylotypes showed different inhibition properties against P. larvae growth on agar plates, whereas a combination of all eleven LAB phylotypes resulted in a total inhibition (no visible growth) of P. larvae. Adding the LAB mixture to the larval food significantly reduced the number of AFB infected larvae in exposure bioassays.

The results demonstrate that honey bee specific LAB possess beneficial properties for honey bee health. Possible benefits to honey bee health by enhancing growth of LAB or by applying LAB to honey bee colonies should be further investigated…

Our results demonstrated a strong inhibitory effect of the combined honey bee stomach LAB flora and of two Lactobacillus phylotypes (Hma11 and Biut2) on the in vitro growth of P. larvae (Tab. II). Furthermore, the results clearly demonstrate that addition of LAB to young honey bee larvae exposed to P. larvae spores decreases the proportion of larvae that succumb to AFB infection. Thus, our results strongly suggest that probiotic bacteria linked to the honey bee stomach have important implications for honey bee pathology in general and for AFB tolerance in particular.

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