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Transgenerational immune priming in honeybees

Historically, vaccination of beneficial insects, such as honey bees, was deemed unfeasible since these animals lack antibody-based, acquired immune system. Yet, a breakthrough by us in understanding immune priming in honey bees indicates that vaccination can occur via the mother insect, the queen (Salmela et al., 2015). This antibody independent immune priming mechanism has allowed us to start developing an idea for treatment in honey bees. Vaccination effort in pollinators is a completely novel, unprecedented task, as there are no current or former vaccines available for insects. Most efficient way to target the infection would be enhancing the resistance in early larval stages. 

 

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