Antimicrobial activity of fatty acids against Bacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood diseaseM.F. Feldlaufera, D.A. Knoxb, W.R. Lusbya and H. Shimanukib
a Insect Neurobiology and Hormone Laboratory, Bldg 467 BARC-East, Beltsville, MD, USA
b Bee Research Laboratory, Bldg 476 BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Abstract - Various saturated and unsaturated free fatty acids were tested for their antibiotic activity against Bacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood disease of honey bee larvae. Saturated compounds containing > 14 carbons were inactive. Antimicrobial activity could be restored to the longer chain length compounds by the addition of one or more double bonds. The antibiotic activity of fatty acids may make them suitable for use in the prevention and control of foulbrood diseases of honey bees.
Key words: foulbrood / antimicrobial activity / fatty acids / Bacillus larvae