6. Final remarks
In the past decade, different basic issues related to American foulbrood have been addressed, including the reclassification of its aetiological agent (Genersch et al., 2006; Ashiralieva and Genersch, 2006), the development of methods for genotyping (Genersch and Otten, 2003; Alippi et al., 2004; Genersch et al., 2006; Antúnez et al., 2007) and the annotation of its genome sequence (Qin et al., 2006; Chan et al., 2011). The latter permitted the introduction of techniques for studying the bacterial transcriptome and proteome. Candidate reference genes and the methods to select them have been described in this paper. The availability of a protocol for heterologous expression of foreign proteins in P. larvae can be considered a great breakthrough in AFB research (Poppinga and Genersch, 2012). Nevertheless, we are only at the start of understanding the intimate relationship between P. larvae and its host. We hope that methods that are presented in this paper can help scientists to further explore the secrets of American foulbrood disease in honey bees.
We mourn the passing of Drs. Dieter De Koker who contributed to this chapter. Dieter was a talented PhD student at Ghent University. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. DCdG and LDS gratefully acknowledge the Research Foundation of Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen; G.0163.11) for financial support.