Parasite-insecticide interactions: a case study of Nosema ceranae and fipronil synergy on honeybee

Sci Rep. 2012;2:326. doi: 10.1038/srep00326. Epub 2012 Mar 22.

Abstract

In ecosystems, a variety of biological, chemical and physical stressors may act in combination to induce illness in populations of living organisms. While recent surveys reported that parasite-insecticide interactions can synergistically and negatively affect honeybee survival, the importance of sequence in exposure to stressors has hardly received any attention. In this work, Western honeybees (Apis mellifera) were sequentially or simultaneously infected by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae and chronically exposed to a sublethal dose of the insecticide fipronil, respectively chosen as biological and chemical stressors. Interestingly, every combination tested led to a synergistic effect on honeybee survival, with the most significant impacts when stressors were applied at the emergence of honeybees. Our study presents significant outcomes on beekeeping management but also points out the potential risks incurred by any living organism frequently exposed to both pathogens and insecticides in their habitat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bees / parasitology*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions*
  • Insecticides*
  • Nosema / physiology*
  • Pyrazoles*

Substances

  • Insecticides
  • Pyrazoles
  • fipronil