Evaluation of Nosema ceranae spore-specific polyclonal antibodies
Katherine A. Aronstein, Eduardo Saldivar and Thomas C. Webster
A new genomic antibody (Ab) has been developed against a spore-wall protein SWP-32 of the honey bee intracellular pathogen, Nosema ceranae. In dot blots and Western blots this Ab specifically recognized N. ceranae spore antigens and did not cross-react with N. apis spore lysates, unless blots were overdeveloped. The detection sensitivity depends on both the concentration of the anti-SWP-32 Ab and the concentration of Nosema spores in the lysates. To avoid non-specific staining, we suggest using this new Ab at 1:5000 dilution for detection of 1x103 and higher spore numbers per assay. Considering that a single infected bee can produce over 50 x 106 spores, this level of sensitivity will allow detection of a very low level of Nosema infection in bee colonies.