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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kochansky, Jan
item Pettis, Jeffery

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2005
Publication Date: 2/4/2005
Citation: Kochansky, J.P., Pettis, J.S. 2005. Screening additional antibiotics for efficacy against american foulbrood. Journal of Apicultural Research. 44(1):24-28.

Interpretive Summary: Foulbrood is a devastating bacterial disease of honey bees, and there is evidence of widespread resistance to the one antibiotic approved for its control. In an attempt to identify other antibiotics effective against foulbrood, a screen of 35 additional antimicrobials was performed. While several showed activity in laboratory tests, none proved effective during subsequent field trials. This information is of high interest to other scientists and the U. S. beekeeping industry.

Technical Abstract: The sensitivity of Paenibacillus larvae larvae to 35 antibiotics and synthetic antimicrobials, including two previously reported, was investigated. All compounds are currently approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration for agricultural uses. The most active antibiotics screened that are currently used in agriculture were pirlimycin, tiamulin, and the polyether ionophores, particularly narasin, lasalocid, salinomycin, laidlomycin, and maduramicin. Pirlimycin and tiamulin show high activity in vitro, but share the mode of action of tylosin, and therefore have no advantage over it. While the ionophores have high in vitro activity and a completely different mode of action and therefore seemed to represent potential alternative treatments for AFB, they were inactive in the field.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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