CREMER GROUP @ IST Austria

Nest hygiene

Preventing colony contamination

Pathogens need to enter and establish in the colony to later cause infection of colony members. To prevent colony contamination, ants constantly and prophylactically disinfect their nest, particularly their brood pile, with antimicrobials like their formic-acid rich poison.

Read more on colony hygiene and avoidance of social immunopathology:

Publications

Research Paper
Pull CD, Ugelvig LV, Wiesenhofer F, Grasse AV, Tragust S, Schmitt T, Brown MJF, Cremer S
(2018) Destructive disinfection of infected brood prevents systemic disease spread in ant colonies
elife

The concept

Sanitary care

Nest hygiene

Treating infection

Social immunisation

Organisational immunity