Virulence of M. plutonius and secondary invaders associated with European foulbrood disease

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European foulbrood is a globally distributed brood disease affecting honey bees. It may lead to lethal infections of larvae and, in severe cases, even to colony collapse. Lately, a profound genetic and phenotypic diversity was documented for the causative agent Melissococcus plutonius. However, experimental work on the impact of diverse M. plutonius strains on hosts with different genetic background is completely lacking and the role of secondary invaders is poorly understood. Here, we address these issues and elucidate the impact and interaction of both host and pathogen on one another. Moreover, we try to unravel the role of secondary bacterial invasions in foulbrood