On June 20, 2022, Jonathan Snow, associate professor of biological sciences, published a chapter in the new book Microsporidia: Current Advances in Biology. Professor Snow’s chapter, titled “Nosema apis and N. ceranae Infection in Honey bees: A Model for Host-Pathogen Interactions in Insects,” examines the detrimental effects of microbial attacks on western honey bee populations.
The Nosema species, N. apis and N. ceranae, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees, and infection by these species has been identified as a key factor in honey bee losses. Infected bees display significant changes in their biology at the cellular, tissue, and organismal levels, which impact host metabolism, immune function, physiology, and behavior. Nosema infections also lead to colony dysfunction and can contribute to colony disease. Professor Snow concludes that further study is needed to gain a more complete understanding of host and pathogen machinery, including how they function and interact.