Drug Discov Ther. 2013;7(4):153-157. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2013.v7.4.153)
Use of silkworms to evaluate the pathogenicity of bacteria attached to cedar pollen.
Hu Y, Hamamoto H, Sekimizu K
Injection of a Japanese cedar pollen suspension into silkworm hemolymph kills the silkworms. A certain species of bacteria proliferated in the hemolymph of the dead silkworms. A 16S rDNA analysis demonstrated that the proliferating bacteria were Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus weihenstephanensis, and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens. Among them, B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. weihenstephanensis exhibited hemolysis against sheep red blood cells and were lethal to mice. A culture filtrate of B. amyloliquefaciens showed enzyme activity toward the pectic membrane of cedar pollen. These results suggest that silkworms as an animal model are useful for evaluating the pathogenicity of bacteria attached to cedar pollen.