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Excerpt: "A team of scientists in Italy believe they have found the molecular mechanism through which neonicotinoid pesticides adversely impacts the immune system of honey bees."

Neonicotinoids cause significant problems for honey bees, include disruptions in mobility, navigation, feeding behavior, foraging activity, memory and learning, and overall hive activity. (photo: EcoWatch)
Neonicotinoids cause significant problems for honey bees, include disruptions in mobility, navigation, feeding behavior, foraging activity, memory and learning, and overall hive activity. (photo: EcoWatch)


Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoids to Honey Bee Viruses

By Beyond Pesticides

26 October 13

 

team of scientists in Italy believe they have found the molecular mechanism through which neonicotinoid pesticides adversely impacts the immune system of honey bees. The team's experiments suggest that exposure to neonicotinoids results in increased levels of a particular protein in bees that inhibits a key molecule involved in the immune response, making the insects more susceptible to attack by harmful viruses.

Though previous studies have indicated that exposure to minute amount of neurotoxic pesticides like neonicotinoids severely impair the immune systems of bees, making them more susceptible to pathogens, the underlying mechanism has was not yet been fully understood. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, is the latest of several studies to add weight to the urgency of repeated calls from U.S. beekeeper and environmental groups for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, as the European Commission decided this past April.

Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that includes clothianidin and imidicloprid, are taken up by a plant's vascular system and expressed through pollen, nectar and gutation droplets from which bees forage and drink. They are particularly dangerous because-in addition to being acutely toxic in high doses-they also result in serious sublethal effects when insects are exposed to chronic low doses, as they are through pollen and water droplets laced with the chemical, and dust that is released into the air when coated seeds are planted with automated vacuum seed planters. These effects cause significant problems for the health of individual honey bees as well as the overall health of honey bee colonies. Effects include disruptions in bee mobility, navigation, feeding behavior, foraging activity, memory and learning, and overall hive activity.

Up until now, the causal link between insecticide exposure and immune alteration has been unclear. Francesco Pennacchio, Ph.D. of the University of Naples Federico II, and his colleagues identified a gene in insects similar to that found in other animals that is known to regulate the immune response. This gene codes for a leucine-rich repeat protein family (LRR) which has been shown to suppress the activity of a key protein involved in immune signaling, called NF-B. When the researchers exposed bees to sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid clothianidin, they saw a significant increase in the expression of the gene encoding the LRR protein, and a concomitant suppression of the NF-B signaling pathway. These effects were not seen when bees were exposed to the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyriphos.

The team infected bees with a common pathogen, deformed wing virus (DWV), and exposed them to clothianidin and another neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, at concentrations similar to those that would be found in the field. The researchers found significantly increased replication of the virus, which was not seen either in untreated bees or those exposed to chlorpyriphos. While the virus is common in bees and usually remains inactive, it is kept in check by the bees' immune system. The data demonstrates that the two neonicotinoids actively promote DWV replication.

"The reported effect on immunity exerted by neonicotinoids will allow additional toxicological tests to be defined to assess if chronic exposure of bees to sub-lethal doses of agrochemicals can adversely affect their immune system and health conditions," says team member Francesco Nazzi, Ph.D. of the University of Udine.

"Moreover, our data indicates the possible occurrence in insects, as in vertebrates, of a neural modulation of the immune response," continued Nazzi. "This sets the stage for future studies in this research area, and poses the question on how neurotoxic substances may affect the immune response."

Since 2006, honey bees nationwide have suffered ongoing and rapid population declines, from hive abandonment and bee die-off in a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). These findings add a significant piece of information to the ongoing and discussion of the role of neonicotinoid pesticides' link to CCD, and, according to researchers, this work has important implications for toxicology and risk assessment studies.

The scientists conclude:

The results we report clearly indicate the need for longer-term toxicity tests, aiming at assessing how the pathogen progression in honey bees is influenced by insecticide residues and by their cumulative effects, both on adults and larvae. A comprehensive and thorough assessment of insecticide impact on bees will significantly contribute to their conservation and to the development of more sustainable protocols of intensive agriculture.

 

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+25 # Activista 2013-10-26 20:16
Why is USA EPA so impotent? "repeated calls from U.S. beekeeper and environmental groups for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, as the European Commission decided this past April" seems that everything is bought by special interest i our Money Culture. last time we did something significant was get rid of DDT (remember Silent Spring?)
 
 
+16 # Guy 2013-10-27 06:20
"Why is USA EPA so impotent? "
To put it simply,it is because corporate America ,controls the program.The chemical companies like Monsanto and Sygenta ,have too much control over the public,while wanting to maintain their chemical sales.
 
 
+22 # Walter J Smith 2013-10-26 20:36
RE: "The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, is the latest of several studies to add weight to the urgency of repeated calls from U.S. beekeeper and environmental groups for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, as the European Commission decided this past April."

Yeah. Too bad the US EPA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Most Virilent Toxins, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street Criminal Laboratories, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bipartisan Majority Criminal Cults, Inc.,....
 
 
+8 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-10-27 01:00
BOYCOTT!
 
 
+16 # warrior woman 2013-10-27 05:12
It's not just the bees that are exposed to this class of neurotoxin, humans are as well. This class is systemic. It's absorbed by the plant and can't be washed off. It's on all the classic GMO plantings which also are imbedded in their DNA with pesticides, BT Toxin or Bacillus Thurengiensis, which means another systemic. They're also sprayed with glyphosates, RoundUp, another systemic.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2013-10-27 09:10
"this class of neurotoxin .... is systemic. It's absorbed by the plant and can't be washed off"
Yes - the whole system is affected - many complex interactions - whole genetics is affected.
It is sad that so many PHds working on GMO see only their "niche" and go home with a fat check .. and very little true knowledge. Maximize short term profit at ANY cost.
 
 
+9 # davidh7426 2013-10-27 05:58
In some office somewhere in a corporate dungeon owned by the 'vested interests'. One of the minions is about to have a WIZARD idea...

""
Instead of cutting back or eradicating the neonicotinoid containing substances, which would cut back on profits =8(

Just genetically modify the bees.

So what if a few plants and ecosystems are detrimentally affected, we could modify them too. Just think a whole new range of plants, animals etc that are neonicotinoid resistant, just think of the profit, we'll clean up.
""
 
 
+19 # Sandy 2013-10-27 06:41
If we don't figure out a way to get rid of capitalism as the driving force behind the US and global economies, I think most living species, including humans, are doomed to extinction. Having to put profit above all else, has it's consequenses. I believe humanity can do much better than capitalism and that the need for a change is becoming clearer and clearer.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2013-10-27 09:16
to get rid of capitalism ..." Most American people are programmed for greed .. look at the monster cars people are buying (mostly on credit ..) to show the neighbor how upward mobile they are. We, people are modified (GMO) by consume, consume mass marketing media propaganda.
 
 
+2 # dgalik 2013-10-27 15:52
Just make drones smaller and on their days off they can pollinate the plants
 
 
+1 # The Mindful Dissenters 2013-10-27 18:31
No one is required by local, state or federal law, to allow themselves to be sprayed with poison for any reason.
Please see www.themindfuldissenters.com for more details.

Thanks
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-10-28 14:07
Quoting The Mindful Dissenters:
No one is required by local, state or federal law, to allow themselves to be sprayed with poison for any reason...


That is likely true.

However, I and others with chemical sensitivity have been down that road all over the country.

There is no legal mechanism in place with which to stop them from spraying - anything, in any amount, at any time.

The max concession received in any State so far is that they will notify those concerned with spraying 48 hours in advance of the spraying. That way, you can hide under the bed, or leave the State. They don't much care. But, until things change, there is no way to stop them from spraying straight-up toxins and carcinogens all over your house, lawn, and rural land.

In rural areas, the county will spray all the ditches with herbicides and defoliants just to keep things looking "neat".

Naturally they don't care about wind direction and drift, so they are also at liberty to wipe out your Organic garden if the garden and/or your house is too close to the County Road.

So, yeah ...... there may be no law requiring people to allow themselves to be sprayed with poison. The sprayers, of course, will argue that the known toxins and carcinogens they use are *not* "poisons", but beneficial chemical enhancements.

Kind of like the folks who observe that the IRS is unconstitutiona l, and totally above the law. Both statements are accurate, but I don't advise flipping off the IRS.
 

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