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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Diagnosis of American Foulbrood Disease in Honeybees: a Synthesis and Proposed Analytical Protocols"

Authors
item DE Graff, Dirk - GHENT UNIV. GHENT BELGIUM
item Alippi, Adriana - LA PLATA, ARGENTINA
item Brown, M - CSL YORK, UK
item Evans, Jay
item Feldlaufer, Mark
item Gregorc, A - AIS, LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA
item Hornitzky, M - NSW,DPI, CAMDEN AUSTRALIA
item Pernal, S.F. - AAF, ALBERTA CANADA
item Schuch, D.M.T - RS, PORTO ALEGRE BRAZIL
item Titera, D - BRI, CZECH REPUBLIC
item Tomkies, V. - CSL, YORK, UK
item Ritter, W. - TI, FREIBURG, GERMANY

Submitted to: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 26, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: De Graff, D.C., Alippi, A.M., Brown, M., Evans, J.D., Feldlaufer, M.F., Gregorc, A., Hornitzky, M., Pernal, S., Schuch, D.F., Titera, D., Tomkies, V., Ritter, W. 2006. Diagnosis of american foulbrood disease in honeybees: A synthesis and proposed analytical protocols. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 43:583-590.

Interpretive Summary: American foulbrood is a devastating bacterial disease of immature honey bees. With the international movement of bees, there is a need to standardize diagnosis methods for this disease. This paper describes the clinical symptoms of disease in field colonies and several new and existing laboratory methods to determine the precise agent of disease. This information will be used by regulatory scientists and agencies involved in insuring the safe transport of bees. The information will also be used by researchers attempting to understand the disease and develop new methods of control.

Technical Abstract: American foulbrood (AFB) is the most devastating bacterial disease affecting the larval and pupal stages of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). As the discrimination between AFB and powdery scale disease could no longer hold stand, the pathogenic agent has recently been broadened up to the whole species Paenibacillus larvae. The creamy, sometimes dark brown glue-like larval remains represent the most obvious sign of AFB but several other clinical symptoms have been described. Sensitive and selective culture media are available for isolation of these spore-forming bacilli and the type of samples that can be collected for diagnosis of a suspect bee colony has further been expanded. PCR methods for identification of the pathogen and for genotyping have been developed. But when highly sophisticated equipment is lacking, the biochemical profiling of suspicious bacterial strains and several homemade or commercialized immunotechniques provide an adequate alternative for the molecular identification of P.larvae.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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