Bee-apocalypse update: Honeybee deaths linked to gut microbe-altering antibiotic

Screen Shot at PM

[Editor’s note: Kasie Raymann, Zach Shaffer, and Nancy Moran are researchers in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas – Austin.]

There is growing evidence for the importance of gut microbes in animal health.

Unlike most other insects, honeybees possess a highly conserved gut microbial community, which is acquired through social contact, and several results have suggested that these microbes play an important role in honeybee health.

Antibiotics, which can severely disrupt gut microbial communities, are commonly used in beekeeping in several countries. However, it is unknown how antibiotic treatment affects the gut microbial communities of honeybees.

Here, we evaluated the effects of antibiotic treatment on the size and composition of the honeybee gut microbiome and on honeybee health.

Related article:  New York PTA's proposed bans on GMOs, milk from rBST-treated cows flunk science

We found that exposure to antibiotics significantly alters the honeybee gut microbial community structure and leads to decreased survivorship of honeybees in the hive, likely due to increased susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Antibiotic exposure perturbs the gut microbiota and elevates mortality in honeybees

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend