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The use of lysozyme-HCl and nisin to control the causal agent of chalkbrood disease (Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir) in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) Open Access


Other title
honey bee (Apis mellifera)
chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis)
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Van Haga, Amanda L.
Supervisor and department
Pernal, Stephen F. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Keddie, B. Andrew (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Dosdall, Lloyd M. (Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science)
Currah, Randolph S. (Biological Sciences)
Department of Biological Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Chalkbrood, caused by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive & Spiltor, is a cosmopolitan fungal disease of honey bee larvae (Apis mellifera L.) for which there is no chemotherapeutic control. Using in vitro larval rearing methods, lysozyme-HCl, a food-grade antimicrobial extracted from hen egg albumen, was found to suppress chalkbrood at levels of 0.75-1.5% (μg/mL) of larval diet. In field trials, lysozyme-HCl did not affect adult bee survival or brood production and did effectively suppress the development of chalkbrood disease. Daily chalkbrood mummy production decreased by a factor of 10 in colonies treated with three treatments of 6000 mg of lysozyme-HCl when compared with infected, untreated controls and reduced disease symptoms to levels observed in uninfected colonies. Honey production was also found to be significantly negatively correlated with increased disease severity. Lysozyme-HCl is a promising safe therapeutic agent for the control of chalkbrood in honey bee colonies.
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