Parasitology research

Protecting honey bees: identification of a new varroacide by in silico, in vitro, and in vivo studies.

PMID 25358237


Varroa destructor is the main concern related to the gradual decline of honeybees. Nowadays, among the various acaricides used in the control of V. destructor, most presents increasing resistance. An interesting alternative could be the identification of existent molecules as new acaricides with no effect on honeybee health. We have previously constructed the first 3D model of AChE for honeybee. By analyzing data concerning amino acid mutations implicated in the resistance associated to pesticides, it appears that pirimicarb should be a good candidate for varroacide. To check this hypothesis, we characterized the AChE gene of V. destructor. In the same way, we proposed a 3D model for the AChE of V. destructor. Starting from the definition of these two 3D models of AChE in honeybee and varroa, a comparison between the gorges of the active site highlighted some major differences and particularly different shapes. Following this result, docking studies have shown that pirimicarb adopts two distinct positions with the strongest intermolecular interactions with VdAChE. This result was confirmed with in vitro and in vivo data for which a clear inhibition of VdAChE by pirimicarb at 10 μM (contrary to HbAChE) and a 100% mortality of varroa (dose corresponding to the LD50 (contact) for honeybee divided by a factor 100) were observed. These results demonstrate that primicarb could be a new varroacide candidate and reinforce the high relationships between in silico, in vitro, and in vivo data for the design of new selective pesticides.

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Pirimicarb, PESTANAL®, analytical standard