Short communication: Natural molecules for the control of Paenibacillus larvae, causal agent of American foulbrood in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Pablo Giménez-Martínez, Noelia Cugnata, Rosa M. Alonso-Salces, Daniela Arredondo, Karina Antunez, Rosana De Castro, Sandra R. Fuselli


Aim of study: To evaluate the potential bactericidal activity of natural molecules against Paenibacillus larvae. Moreover, we investigated if molecules that exhibit antimicrobial activity were able to inhibit the proteolytic activity of the bacterium.

Area of study: Isolates S1 and S2 were from Balcarce, Buenos Aires province, strain S3 from Rio Cuarto, Cordoba province, strain S4 from Concordia, Entre Rios province, strain S5 and S8 from Necochea, Buenos Aires, strain S6 and S7 from Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, strain S9 from Modena, Italy and strain S10 from Emilia Reggio, Italy.

Material and methods: Bacterial isolates identification was carried out by amplification of a specific 16S rRNA gene fragment of P. larvae using primers PL5 and PL4. Screening of the antimicrobial activity of thirteen molecules against four P. larvae isolates was conducted by the agar diffusion technique. The antimicrobial activity of selected molecules was evaluated by broth microdilution method.

Main results: Menadione, lauric acid, monoglyceride of lauric acid and naringenin showed antimicrobial activity against ten P. larvae isolates. Menadione and lauric acid showed the strongest activities, with minimum inhibitory concentration mean values ranging 0.78-3.125 µg/mLand 25-50 µg/mL, respectively.

Research highlights: Those concentrations are feasible to be applied at field level, and constitute promissory candidates to be evaluated using in vivo larval models.


antimicrobial activity; metalloproteases

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2019173-14740