CREMER GROUP @ IST Austria

Treating infection

Preventing pathogen replication

Ants treat infections and thereby prevent pathogen replication and hence disease transmission through the colony. They are able to detect infections already during the non-infectious incubation period by chemical cues and to treat them by complex behaviors and use of  antimicrobials. This allows them to prevent the pathogen from producing new infectious particles, a highly efficient way to stop disease spread through the colony.

Read more on how ants detect and treat infections:

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
Research Paper
Ugelvig LV, Kronauer DJC, Schrempf A, Heinze J, Cremer S
(2010) Rapid anti-pathogen response in ant societies relies on high genetic diversity
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

The concept

Sanitary care

Nest hygiene

Treating infection

Social immunisation

Organisational immunity