World's first vaccine for honeybees approved for use by United States: Report
The world's first vaccine for honeybees has been approved for use by the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted a conditional license to American biotech company Dalan Animal Health Inc for making vaccines to help protect honeybees from the American Foulbrood disease, a report by the Business Wire on Wednesday said.
The American Foulbrood disease is caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae which can weaken and kill hives. The disease originated in the US but it has now spread across the world.
Dalan Animal Health's vaccine for honeybees contains killed whole-cell Paenibacillus larvae bacteria. The vaccine will be administered by mixing it into queen feed which is consumed by the worker bees. The vaccine is incorporated into the royal jelly by the worker bees who then feed it to the queen.
The queen then ingests it and fragments of the vaccine are deposited in her ovaries, the Business Wire report said and pointed out that having been exposed to the vaccine, the developing larvae have immunity as they hatch.
Dr Anette Kleiser, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Dalan Animal Health said that the company's vaccine is a breakthrough in protecting honeybees. "We are committed to providing innovative solutions to protect our pollinators and promote sustainable agriculture. Global population growth and changing climates will increase the importance of honeybee pollination to secure our food supply," Dr Kleiser added.
The USDA has granted the conditional license to Dalan Animal Health in the first instance for two years. The vaccine will be distributed on a limited basis to commercial beekeepers. The company anticipates having the vaccine available for purchase in the US this year, Wednesday's report said.