Enterprise Europe Network

Monoclonal antibody for using in the diagnosis of nosemosis caused by the parasite Nosema ceranae.

Country of origin:
Country: 
SPAIN
Opportunity:
External Id: 
TOES20200522001
Published
26/05/2020
Last update
05/06/2020
Expiration date
06/06/2021

Keywords

Partner keyword: 
Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Microbiology
Molecular design
Molecular design
Molecular diagnosis
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Summary

Summary: 
The emergent disease caused by Nosema ceranae is considered a major health problem. Since no clinical signs are associated with the disease, its diagnosis requires the use of transmission electron microscopy or molecular methods, which are expensive and not available in many laboratories. A Spanish university has developed a monoclonal antibody that provides a specific, simple, rapid, and low cost diagnostic for nosemosis. Looking for license and commercial agreement with technical assistance.

Description

Description: 

Nosemosis caused by N. ceranae in occidental and European bee (Apis mellifera) is a major health problem for both individual honey bees and whole colonies. A research group of a spanish university has developed a monoclonal antibody (Mab) with a good sensitivity (93.62%) and specificity (88.37%) that provides a specific, simple, rapid, and low cost diagnostic for nosemosis.
Microsporidia are a large and diverse group of highly specialized parasitic fungi, found in a wide range of hosts. To date, two microsporidian species infect honey bees worldwide:
1) Nosema apis that infects European honey bee (Apis mellifera).
2) Nosema ceranae initially found in Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) from China and presently known to infect also A. mellifera.
Nosemosis caused by N. apis, is characterized in acute forms by trembling of honey bee workers, bees with dilated abdomens, brown faecal marks on combs and the front of the hives, sick or dead bees near the hives and a decrease in brood production and in the size of bee colony, particularly in spring.
However, the emergent disease caused by N. ceranae, presents a different epidemiological pattern which shows no outward symptoms and it is considered a major health problem in both, individual honey bees and whole colonies.
As no clinical signs are recognized in the disease caused by N. ceranae, diagnostic requires the use of different microscopy techniques or molecular methods:
- Phase contrast microscopy (PCM): Nosema sp. spores appear refrigent but the spores of both species, N. ceranae and N. apis, have similar sizes, so they are difficult to differentiate using this method.
- Transmission electron microscopy (TEM): can differentiate species based on the number of polar filament coils.
- PCR: several protocols have been described.
However, both PCR and TEM, are expensive and time consuming techniques which require qualified staff, and may not be available in every laboratory.
The Mab against N. ceranae developed by the Spanish university, means an attainable Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) which allows the differential diagnosis of these two Nosema species.
They are looking for commercial agreement with technical assistance and license agreement with potential partners related to the agrifood sector (food industry, beekeeping,…) that have capacity for the development and commercialization of a diagnostic kit for routine and daily control of the hives. They are also seeking for partners interested in providing a diagnostic service in the beekeeping market.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
- The development of a new diagnostic technique with the monoclonal antibody, would allow the beekeeper to perform an independent and routine control of the hives with an easy immunochromatography method. - Current techniques for monitoring hives are based on molecular methods (PCR) that require equipment and logistics that beekeepers do not have easy access to and even not all laboratories can provide. - The specificity and sensitivity of our monoclonal antibody for the detection of Nosema ceranae, allows the diagnosis of Nosemosis through more economical and accessible techniques for the beekeeper. - In conclusion, the development of new diagnostic techniques using for example immunochromatography and/or immunofluorescence methods, would provide a great advantage in the relationship among price and time, allowing a fast, routine diagnosis and daily monitoring of the hives.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Field tested/evaluated

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The type of partner is a company that can develop a diagnostic kit with the referenced monoclonal antibody, as well as commercialize it. The kit would be a test strip that with the monoclonal antibody, to be used directly in the hives and that allows a rapid, specific and sensitive differential diagnosis between N. ceranae and N. apis. Potential partners can be companies related to the agrifood sector such as food industry, beekeeping, etc that have capacity for the development and commercialization of a diagnostic kit. They are also seeking for partners interested in providing a diagnostic service in the beekeeping market.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500