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Can nutraceuticals be used to treat Nosema infections in bees?

D. Borges, E. Guzman-Novoa, P. H. Goodwin

PLoS ONE (2020) 15

doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227484

• What did the research find?

Sulforaphane, carvacrol and naringenin were found to significantly reduce spore counts when fed to Nosema ceranae-infected honey bees (Apis mellifera). Sulforaphane reduced spore counts by 100 per cent but was highly toxic to the bees (resulting in 100 per cent mortality). The maximum reduction in spore counts observed with carvacrol was 57 per cent, with a bee mortality of 23 per cent. For naringenin, the maximum reduction in spore counts was 64 per cent, with only 15 per cent bee mortality.

• How was it conducted?

For 16 days, batches of 40 N ceranae-infected bees were fed either sugar syrup or one of 12 treatments (oregano oil, thymol, carvacrol, trans-cinnmaldehyde, tetrahydrocurcumin, sulforaphane, naringenin, embelin, allyl sulfide, hydroxytyrosol, chitosan or poly I:C) diluted in sugar syrup. Dead bees were removed daily and counted. After 16 days, the remaining bees were euthanased and the spores in their midguts were counted. …

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