Sanitary care

Preventing current infection

Pathogen-exposed ants receive immediate sanitary care by their healthy colony members, effectively preventing infection of the contaminated individuals. Sanitary care combines mechanical removal of infectious particles by grooming and antimicrobial sanitation.

Read more on the ants’ use of their antimicrobial poison, their self-protective sanitary care, and the epidemiological effects of self- and allogrooming:

Tragust et al 2013 Curr Biol
Theis et al 2015 Phil Trans R Soc B
Konrad et al 2018 PNAS


Review Article
Cremer S
(2019) Pathogens and disease defense of invasive ants
Current Opinion in Insect Science

The concept

Sanitary care

Nest hygiene

Removing infection

Social immunisation

Organisational immunity