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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #440521

Research Project: Natural Products for Honey Bee Immunity & Disease Resistance

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-291-045-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 2, 2021
End Date: Sep 30, 2022

The ultimate goal of this project is to identify medicinal compounds for registration and licensing for beekeeper use against disease. This will be done by identifying candidate medicines and screening their effectiveness against bee viruses and gut parasites. The two objectives of this agreement are to develop a prioritized list of 50 candidate compounds to screen, and then assess 20 of these compounds for their ability to decrease Lotmaria or Serratia using cell culture assays.

Objective 1 requires compiling existing information on candidate molecules using research reviews, inferences from medical or veterinary treatments, and a review of chemical stability and solubility. This will be followed by cross-referencing these molecules with dozens of studies showing a positive physiological impact on mammalian or insect systems either as a direct anti-viral or anti-parasitic compound or indirectly via impacts on host immunity, inflammation or cell communication. Objective 2 requires optimizing cell-free culture of Lotmaria parasites and/or the bacterium Serratia, then screening for antibiotic effects of chosen compounds using standard microbiological assays.