Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Tuberculosis (Edinb), 2011 May 3
The proboscis extension reflex in honeybees was evaluated for detection of tuberculosis. Restrained bees were tested with methyl phenylacetate, methyl p-anisate, and methyl nicotinate, previously identified from Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures, to determine honeybee capacity for signature volatile detection.
Methyl p-anisate and methyl phenylacetate were detectable over eight orders of magnitude, and honeybees showed proboscis extension response down to 0.1 pg loading of methyl p-anisate on filter paper.
Potential exists for trained honeybees in non-invasive diagnostic tests for TB.