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An Inert Pesticide Adjuvant Synergizes Viral Pathogenicity and Mortality in Honey Bee Larvae

The authors examined possible mechanisms for honey bee colony losses seen following California almond pollination, especially the potential role of spray adjuvants. Among other things, the researchers found that the commonly used organosilicone surfactant Sylgard 309 (80% acetyl-caped trisiloxane surfactant) increased mortality in honey bees that were also exposed to common viruses. The findings indicated that the combined exposure to a virus and adjuvant had a synergistic rather than additive interaction. The mechanism isn't understood. The researchers also saw that organosilicone surfactant exposure increased viral replication. They suggest that regulations for the use of organosilicone surfactants may be warranted.

Authors: 
Fine, J.D., D.L. Cox-Foster, and C.A. Mullin
Journal: 
Scientific Reports
Year published: 
2017
DOI: 
10.1038/srep40499