Free Access
Volume 37, Number 4, July-August 2006
Page(s) 411 - 420
Published online 17 May 2006
Apidologie 37 (2006) 411-420
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006028

Reclassification, genotypes and virulence of Paenibacillus larvae, the etiological agent of American foulbrood in honeybees - a review

Ainura Ashiralieva and Elke Genersch

Institute for Bee Research, Friedrich-Engels-Str. 32, 16540 Hohen Neuendorf, Germany

(Received 20 December 2005 - revised 16 February 2005 - accepted 17 February 2005 - published online 17 May 2006)

Abstract - American foulbrood, a worldwide bacterial disease of honeybee brood caused by the gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, is one of the most serious bee diseases. This review will focus on recent achievements in the study of Paenibacillus larvae brought about by molecular methods introduced into the field over the last fifteen years. One topic will be the classification of the etiological agent, which has changed several times since the first description in 1906 and was most recently modified again. Different genetic and biochemical methods for subtyping Paenibacillus larvae, the analysis of differences in virulence and the implications of these differences will also be covered.

Key words: American foulbrood / Paenibacillus larvae / taxonomy / genotyping / virulence

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2006