International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Antibiotic activity associated to microorganisms in social wasp nests (Vespidae; Polistinae, Epiponini)

Laura Elena Chavarria Pizarro, Laura Chavarria Pizarro and Johnny Peraza Moraga
Escuela de Biología, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica; Escuela de Biología, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Microorganism resistance has made most popular antibiotics no longer be effective to treat common infections. For these reason, the World Health Organization have emphasizes the urgency to detected new treatments, mainly antibiotics, from new sources. Social insects could represent key organisms in the searching for new antibiotics, as they have developed defensives strategies including the establishment of symbiotic relations with different microorganisms. Our research goal is to study the antibiotic-producing microorganism associated with social wasps. Specifically in Epiponini wasps, groups that despise there potential have not been extensively studied as other social insects. To isolate the antibiotic-producing microorganism we took samples from six different genera of social wasps, along three regions in Costa Rica. We isolated microorganisms growing cultures from breeding cells, and antibiotic-producing microorganisms were identify by DNA amplification of 16S gen. To determine antibiotic activity, we performed antimicrobial assays previously infected by bacteria species as E. coli, S. aureus, C. albicans and P. aeruginosa. Currently, we have isolated 41 microorganism strains from eight species in four genera. Two strains have been identified as Actinomycetes genera (Streptomyces and Nocardiopsis), and 18 strains remains under DNA analyses. The first genus was isolate from Protopolybia sp, and the second from Polybia sp. Streptomyces and Nocardiopsis have been documented to produce antibiotics, so we can expect the present of a similar antibiotic activity our samples. Although our antibiotic activity assays are still under analysis and we have to analyze more social wasp genera, our preliminary results indicate that Epiponini wasps had established symbiotic relationships with microorganisms to protect their nests, and apparently some Actinomycetes are specific to an Epiponini genera as we have not found the same strains across different genera so far.