Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one

14.03.2012
The stomachs of wild honey bees are full of healthy lactic acid bacteria that can fight bacterial infections in both bees and humans.

A collaboration between researchers at three universities in Sweden – Lund University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Karolinska Institutet – has produced findings that could be a step towards solving the problems of both bee deaths and antibiotic resistance.

The researchers have now published their results in the scientific journal PloS ONE and the legendary science photographer Professor Lennart Nilsson from Karolinska Institutet has illustrated the findings with his unique images.

Today, many people eat healthy lactic acid bacteria that are added to foods such as yogurt.

“In our previous studies, we have looked at honey bees in Sweden. What we have now found from our international studies is that, historically, people of all cultures have consumed the world’s greatest natural blend of healthy bacteria in the form of honey”, says Alejandra Vasquez, a researcher at Lund University.

In wild and fresh honey, which honey hunters collect from bees’ nests in high cliffs and trees, there are billions of healthy lactic acid bacteria of 13 different types. This is in comparison with the 1–3 different types found in commercial probiotic products, she explains.

The honey bees have used these bacteria for 80 million years to produce and protect their honey and their bee bread (bee pollen), which they produce to feed the entire bee colony. The researchers have now also shown that the healthy lactic acid bacteria combat the two most serious bacterial diseases to affect honey bees.

In the journal article, the researchers describe how the bees have these healthy bacteria in their honey stomachs and that they get the bacteria as newborns from the adult bees that feed them. The researchers have also seen that large quantities of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi are found in the nectar and pollen that the bees collect from flowers to make honey and bee bread. These microorganisms could destroy the food through fermentation and mould in just a couple of hours, but in fact, the healthy bacteria in the honey stomach kill all the microorganisms.

“As humans have learnt to use honey to treat sore throats, colds and wounds, our hypothesis is that the healthy bee bacteria can also kill harmful disease bacteria in humans. We have preliminary, unpublished results which show that this could be a new tool to complement or even replace antibiotics”, says Alejandra Vasquez.

The present study also shows that bees’ healthy bacteria die when beekeepers treat bees preventively with antibiotics, which primarily happens in the USA. The bees have their own defence system against disease in the form of cooperative healthy bacteria. However, this system is weakened in commercially farmed bees that are treated with antibiotics, suffer stress, eat synthetic food instead of their own honey and bee bread and are forced to fly in fields sprayed with pesticides.

“Our results provide the research community with an undiscovered key that could explain why bees are dying worldwide in the mysterious ‘colony collapse disorder’”, says Tobias Olofsson.

Researchers at Lund University:
Dr Alejandra Vásquez, email: alejandra.vasquez@med.lu.se, mobile: +46 705 898089
Dr Tobias Olofsson, email: tobias.olofsson@med.lu.se, mobile: +46 706 837683

Helga Ekdahl Heun | idw
Further information:
http://www.lu.se
http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.003318

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

More genes are active in high-performance maize

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>