Send to

Choose Destination
Benef Microbes. 2016 Feb;7(1):45-51. doi: 10.3920/BM2015.0085. Epub 2015 Nov 13.

Effect of dietary supplementation of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains in Apis mellifera L. against Nosema ceranae.

Author information

1 Department of Agricultural Science, University of Bologna, Viale Fanin 44, 40127 Bologna, Italy.
2 Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricultura, Unità di ricerca di apicoltura e bachicoltura, CRA-API, Via di Saliceto 80, 40128 Bologna, Italy.


Nosema ceranae is a widespread microsporidium of European honeybee Apis mellifera L. affecting bee health. The ban of Fumagillin-B (dicyclohexylammonium salt) in the European Union has driven the search for sustainable strategies to prevent and control the infection. The gut microbial symbionts, associated to the intestinal system of vertebrates and invertebrates and its impact on host health, are receiving increasing attention. In particular, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which are normal inhabitants of the digestive system of bees, are known to protect their hosts via antimicrobial metabolites, immunomodulation and competition. In this work, the dietary supplementation of gut bacteria was evaluated under laboratory conditions in bees artificially infected with the parasite and bees not artificially infected but evidencing a low natural infection. Supplemented bacteria were selected among bifidobacteria, previously isolated, and lactobacilli, isolated in this work from healthy honeybee gut. Four treatments were compared: bees fed with sugar syrup (CTR); bees fed with sugar syrup containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (PRO); bees infected with N. ceranae spores and fed with sugar syrup (NOS); bees infected with N. ceranae and fed with sugar syrup containing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (NP). The sugar syrup, with or without microorganisms, was administered to bees from the first day of life for 13 days. N. ceranae infection was carried out individually on anesthetised 5-day-old bees. Eight days after infection, a significant (P<0.05) lower level of N. ceranae was detected by real-time PCR in both NP and PRO group, showing a positive effect of supplemented microorganisms in controlling the infection. These results represent a first attempt of application of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli against N. ceranae in honeybees.


beneficial bacteria; gut microbiota; honeybee pathogens; real-time PCR

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center