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Antibiotic use . . . so NZ got something right


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A new study finds prolonged antibiotic use by beekeepers might play a role in the mysterious drop in honey bee populations in the United States.

Yale researchers found genetic evidence that helpful bacteria, which normally live the bellies of honeybees, have become highly resistant to the antibiotic tetracycline, possibly weakening the bees’ ability to fight disease.

Researchers say decades of use may have unknowingly encouraged antibiotic resistance by genetically altering the beneficial bacteria.

Past studies show helpful bacterial play an important role in protecting the honeybee by neutralizing toxins found in their diets while also helping fight off various pathogens.

The researchers have identified eight different tetracycline resistance genes among U.S. honeybees that were exposed to antibiotics. Those same resistance genes were missing in bees from countries where antibiotic use is banned.

Antibiotics Might Contribute to Bee Die-Off « Science World

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If you want to avoid any 'spin' the original paper is in the public domain and can be downloaded from here:

 

http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/6/e00377-12.full.pdf

 

One of the interesting things is that the degree of resistance varied hugely, but was greatest in colonies recently established from packages, and declined very significantly in colonies not treated after two years (including feral colonies). I'm interested because I think the study of honey bee nutrition (and so gut microbiota) is one of the great gaps in our knowledge about honey bees AND something with practical significance.

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Interesting....

I'm very glad we don't use anti-biotics

I think that using anything that we absolutely don't have to is a bad idea...

 

I would be a little concerned about pro-biotics too

especially when the risks may outweigh the benefits.

we always think that something is perfectly safe until its not.

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If you want to avoid any 'spin' the original paper is in the public domain and can be downloaded from here:

 

http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/6/e00377-12.full.pdf

 

One of the interesting things is that the degree of resistance varied hugely, but was greatest in colonies recently established from packages, and declined very significantly in colonies not treated after two years (including feral colonies). I'm interested because I think the study of honey bee nutrition (and so gut microbiota) is one of the great gaps in our knowledge about honey bees AND something with practical significance.

 

Completely agree Dave.

I did quite a bit of reading a few months ago on the natural gut microflora of honeybees - there are some pretty good papers on the topic starting to come out. My main aim was to find out what bee health outcomes there were in bees that were fed antibiotics as a rule to combat AFB. I was disappointed as I couldn't find any papers that even mentioned a possible effect of treating with antibiotics. Good to see that it is being worked on. Will have a read of the paper when I get some time. Thanks for pointing it out.

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Nancy Moran ( look for her lab at Yale) has published a number of papers on the subject, not all 'free to air' Otto. You'll pick her up on Google for a publication list, and if you follow some of the references on the paper. She' s often the corresponding author. Interested to hear what you think sometime.

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Exactly, and some people have thought of that. I believe it's already on sale.

here in nz and do you know who might be selling it or the name of the product?

and Janice, what is "Blis"

 

here in whitianga is a scientist who has an imported strain of a lacto bacillus.

the stuff feeds on "bad" bacteria. has a variety of uses in farming (pigs and cows)

was just told that the whitianga waist water is being treated with it, too.

at the world cup they trialed this bacteria for disinfection in portable toilets with great success.

feeding it to chickens means you can eat them row for sushi (that's how i got onto this stuff original)

i believe it could have great potential in nosema treatment. (may be also varroa, since lactic acid is in use now).

if someone wants to explore this, the product is called Nature formula, the scientist is Fumio Honda. i have the email, but i think it's not a good idea to put it on the net public.

Phil Lester, Victoria university, just confirmed to me that live lacto bacteria has been discused as a treatment for nosema. maybe someone wants to explore this?

 

i understand that people have concerns about pro biotics, but since the waist water here is being treated with it, millions of bees have free access to it anyway.

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BLIS = Bactieriocin-like inhibitory substance. They are generally antimocrobial compounds produced by bacteria that kill or inhibit the growth of closely related bacteria.

A biotech company in Dunedin (BLIS technologies) was set up a number of years ago to commercialise BLIS produced by beneficial bacteria that live on your tongue. Their commercial strains produce BLIS that inhibit the bacteria that cause Strep throat.

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