Per Kryger

Nosema spp. infections cause no energetic stress in tolerant honeybees

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  • Christoph Kurze, Institute for Biology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Christopher Mayack, Institute for Biology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Frank Hirche, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Gabriele I. Stangl, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  • Yves Le Conte, INRA, UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement, France
  • Per Kryger
  • Robin F. A. Moritz, Institute for Biology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Host-pathogen coevolution leads to reciprocal adaptations, allowing pathogens to increase host exploitation or hosts to minimise costs of infection. As pathogen resistance is often associated with considerable costs, tolerance may be an evolutionary alternative. Here, we examined the effect of two closely related and highly host dependent intracellular gut pathogens, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, on the energetic state in Nosema tolerant and sensitive honeybees facing the infection. We quantified the three major haemolymph carbohydrates fructose, glucose, and trehalose using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a measure for host energetic state. Trehalose levels in the haemolymph were negatively associated with N. apis infection intensity and with N. ceranae infection regardless of the infection intensity in sensitive honeybees. Nevertheless, there was no such association in Nosema spp. infected tolerant honeybees. These findings suggest that energy availability in tolerant honeybees was not compromised by the infection. This result obtained at the individual level may also have implications at the colony level where workers in spite of a Nosema infection can still perform as well as healthy bees, maintaining colony efficiency and productivity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalParasitology Research
Volume115
Issue6
Pages (from-to)2381-2388
Number of pages8
ISSN0932-0113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

    Research areas

  • host-parasite interaction, immune response, energetic stress, adaptation, fitness cost

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