Disinfection of wooden structures contaminated with Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae spores


Wim Dobbelaere Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Groeselenberg 99, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium (e-mail: widob@var.fgov.be).


Aims: The aim of the study is to examine the disinfection of wood contaminated with Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae spores, in order to find a practical decontamination method for hive materials.

Methods and Results: The number of viable spores recovered after the treatment, on the surface by swabbing, and in the deeper parts of the wood by scraping, was used to test the efficiency of the disinfection. Our results indicate that chemical disinfection is only complete when high concentrations (> 50%) of the disinfectant are used. Heat treatment in general was found to be very effective. The scorching of wood was not satisfactory as it only killed spores at the surface.

Conclusions: Complete disinfection is only possible with some heat treatments or by using high concentrations of chemical disinfectants.

Significance and Impact of the Study: This study puts forward some methods that can provide complete decontamination, which is necessary for an effective control of American foulbrood disease.