Infectious Diseases in Beneficial Insects: Current Status of Pébrine and Nosema Diseases and Their Progression

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450). This special issue belongs to the section "Insect Behavior and Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 8953

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Zoological Science, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan
Interests: insect pathology; microsporidia; noctuid; bacteria and fungi entomopathogen
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute of Biological Control, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyusyu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Interests: insect pathology; microsporidia; entomopathogenic protozoans; microbial control, insect cell culture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Beneficial insects have been treated with great care since ancient times because they provide various beneficial substances for humankind. They also suffer from disease, similarly to humans. In particular, silkworm pébrine, a microsporidiosis caused by infection with microsporidia, is considered to be most serious because of its chronic pathogenicity. The microsporidian parasite is transmitted from the mother moth to the next generation through the eggs, making it difficult to eliminate the disease. Although the pébrine has been prevented using the prophylactic method of mother moth examination, which was invented by Pasteur, the disease has not yet been eradicated. Additionally, honeybee nosemosis (microsporidosis caused by microsporidia belonging to the genus Nosema) continues to be detected all over the world. Microsporidiosis remains a persistent threat to sericulture and apiculture.

This Special Issue welcomes case studies focusing on the occurrence, distribution, and biological aspects of microsporidiosis in beneficial insects, silkworms, and bees since 2000.

Dr. Yoshinori Hatakeyama
Dr. Chisa Yasunaga-Aoki
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • beneficial insects
  • silkworm
  • bee
  • microsporidia
  • pébrine
  • microsporidiosis
  • nosemosis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2747 KiB  
Article
Screening of Entomopathogenic Fungal Culture Extracts with Honeybee Nosemosis Inhibitory Activity
by Dong-Jun Kim, Ra-Mi Woo, Kyu-Seek Kim and Soo-Dong Woo
Insects 2023, 14(6), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060538 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1119
Abstract
This study aimed to select the most effective culture extracts for controlling honeybee nosemosis using 342 entomopathogenic fungi of 24 species from 18 genera. The germination inhibitory activity of the fungal culture extract on Nosema ceranae spores was evaluated using an in vitro [...] Read more.
This study aimed to select the most effective culture extracts for controlling honeybee nosemosis using 342 entomopathogenic fungi of 24 species from 18 genera. The germination inhibitory activity of the fungal culture extract on Nosema ceranae spores was evaluated using an in vitro germination assay method. Among 89 fungal culture extracts showing germination inhibitory activity of approximately 80% or more, 44 fungal culture extracts that maintained their inhibitory activity even at a concentration of 1% were selected. Finally, the honeybee nosemosis inhibitory activity was evaluated using the cultured extracts of five fungal isolates having a Nosema inhibitory activity of approximately 60% or more, even when the extract was removed after treatment. As a result, the proliferation of Nosema spores was reduced by all fungal culture extract treatments. However, only the treatment of the culture extracts from Paecilomyces marquandii 364 and Pochonia bulbillosa 60 showed a reduction in honeybee mortality due to nosemosis. In particular, the extracts of these two fungal isolates also increased the survival of honeybees. Full article
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16 pages, 4310 KiB  
Article
Bombyx mori Ecdysone Receptor B1 May Inhibit BmNPV Infection by Triggering Apoptosis
by Zhihao Su, Chunxiao Zhao, Xinming Huang, Junli Lv, Ziqin Zhao, Kaiyi Zheng, Xia Sun, Sheng Qin, Xueyang Wang, Byung-Rae Jin and Yangchun Wu
Insects 2023, 14(6), 505; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14060505 - 31 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a serious threat to sericulture. Nevertheless, no effective control strategy is currently available. The innate immunity of silkworm is critical in the antiviral process. Exploring its molecular mechanism provides theoretical support for the prevention and treatment of BmNPV. [...] Read more.
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is a serious threat to sericulture. Nevertheless, no effective control strategy is currently available. The innate immunity of silkworm is critical in the antiviral process. Exploring its molecular mechanism provides theoretical support for the prevention and treatment of BmNPV. Insect hormone receptors play an essential role in regulating host immunity. We found a correlation between Bombyx mori ecdysone receptor B1 (BmEcR-B1) and BmNPV infection, whereas the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, the expression patterns and sequence characteristics of BmEcR-B1 and its isoform, BmEcR-A, were initially analyzed. BmEcR-B1 was found to be more critical than BmEcR-A in silkworm development and responses to BmNPV. Moreover, RNAi and an overexpression in BmN cells showed BmEcR-B1 had antiviral effects in the presence of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E); Otherwise, it had no antiviral activity. Furthermore, BmEcR-B1 was required for 20E-induced apoptosis, which significantly suppressed virus infection. Finally, feeding 20E had no significant negative impacts on larval growth and the cocoon shell, suggesting the regulation of this pathway has practical value in controlling BmNPV in sericulture. The findings of this study provide important theoretical support for understanding the mechanism of the silkworm innate immune system in response to BmNPV infection. Full article
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13 pages, 4870 KiB  
Article
Infection Prevalence of Microsporidia Vairimorpha (Nosema) spp. in Japanese Bumblebees
by Takahiro Yanagisawa, Yuto Kato and Maki N. Inoue
Insects 2023, 14(4), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040340 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
Microsporidia are spore-forming intracellular parasites of various invertebrates and vertebrates. Vairimorpha bombi negatively affects the fitness of bumblebees and its prevalence correlates with declining bumblebee populations. The invasive alien species Bombus terrestris colonized Japan and possibly introduced new parasites. To assess the infection prevalence [...] Read more.
Microsporidia are spore-forming intracellular parasites of various invertebrates and vertebrates. Vairimorpha bombi negatively affects the fitness of bumblebees and its prevalence correlates with declining bumblebee populations. The invasive alien species Bombus terrestris colonized Japan and possibly introduced new parasites. To assess the infection prevalence of V. bombi in Japanese bumblebees and B. terrestris, we investigated V. bombi infections using PCR and microscopy. The prevalence of sporulating V. bombi infections in three Bombus s. str. species/subspecies was low, whereas that of non/low-sporulating Vairimorpha sp. infections in three Diversobombus species/subspecies was high. Invasive B. terrestris showed low prevalence of non/low-sporulating V. bombi infections and shared the same V. bombi haplotype with B. hypocrita found in Hokkaido, where B. terrestris is present, and in Honshu, where B. terrestris is absent. Although V. bombi may have been introduced with B. terrestris colonies imported from Europe, it seems to be originally distributed in Japan. Furthermore, a new Vairimorpha sp. was found in Japanese bumblebee species. V. bombi and Vairimorpha sp. showed different organ and host specificities in bumblebees. There are no reports on the specific effects of other Vairimorpha spp. on bumblebees; further studies are needed to clarify the individual characteristics of Vairimorpha spp. Full article
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8 pages, 742 KiB  
Communication
Comparison of the Germination Conditions of Two Large-Spore Microsporidia Using Potassium and Sodium Ion Solutions
by Yuji Imura, Haruka Nakamura, Reina Arai and Yoshinori Hatakeyama
Insects 2023, 14(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14020185 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
The germination of a microsporidian polar tube generally occurs under alkaline conditions. Typically, microsporidian spores can be stored in physiological salt solution for short periods. However, because of differences in the lodging area, the requirements may not always be uniform. In fact, Trachipleistophora [...] Read more.
The germination of a microsporidian polar tube generally occurs under alkaline conditions. Typically, microsporidian spores can be stored in physiological salt solution for short periods. However, because of differences in the lodging area, the requirements may not always be uniform. In fact, Trachipleistophora sp. OSL-2012-10 (nomen nudum Trachipleistophora haruka) germinated when preserved in physiological salt solution. In this study, the germination characteristics of the large-spore microsporidia Trachipleistophora sp. FOA-2014-10 and Vavraia sp. YGSL-2015-13 were compared with those of Trachipleistophora sp. OSL-2012-10; moreover, we investigated whether these characteristics are specific to these microsporidia. We found that both microsporidia germinated in physiological salt solution. These differences in germination rates were affected by the preservation solution and temperature. Full article
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12 pages, 1442 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae Infection on Survival and Phenoloxidase Gene Expression in Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Galleriidae) Compared to Apis mellifera
by Erkay Özgör
Insects 2021, 12(10), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12100953 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2573
Abstract
The study aims to prove the possibility of colonization of N. apis and N. ceranae to the intestine of the greater wax moth, detect the differences of greater wax moth based on the presence of Nosema species and examine the effect of Nosema [...] Read more.
The study aims to prove the possibility of colonization of N. apis and N. ceranae to the intestine of the greater wax moth, detect the differences of greater wax moth based on the presence of Nosema species and examine the effect of Nosema species on the phenoloxidase level of greater wax moth compared with honeybees. Each group was fed on the 1st day of the experiment with its appropriate diet containing 106 Nosema spores per insect. Each group was checked daily, and dead insects were counted. Furthermore, changes in the level of expression of the phenoloxidase-related gene after Nosema spp. treatment on the 6th, 9th and 12th days, which was detected by Q-PCR, and the mRNA level of phenoloxidase gene were measured in all experiment groups with the CFX Connect Real-Time PCR Detection System. This study shows that Apis mellifera L. has a 66.7% mortality rate in mixed Nosema infections, a 50% mortality rate in N. ceranae infection, a 40% mortality rate in N. apis infection, while there is no death in G. mellonella. A significant difference was found in the mixed Nosema infection group compared to the single Nosema infection groups by means of A. mellifera and G. mellonella (Duncan, p < 0.05). G. mellonella histopathology also shows that Nosema spores multiply in the epithelial cells of greater wax moth without causing any death. The increase in the mRNA level of Phenoloxidase gene in A. mellifera was detected (Kruskal–Wallis, p < 0.05), while the mRNA level of the Phenoloxidase gene did not change in G. mellonella (Kruskal–Wallis, p > 0.05). These findings prove that the Nosema species can colonize into the greater wax moth, which contributes to the dissemination of these Nosema species between beehives. Full article
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