Towards a coordination of European activities to diagnose and manage insect diseases in production facilities

J. Eilenberg*, M.M. van Oers, A.B. Jensen, A. Lecocq, G. Maciel-Vergara, L.P.A. Santacoloma, J.J.A. van Loon, H. Hesketh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid increase in insect production for food and feed both in Europe and elsewhere in the world has led to a need for a coordinated action to assist producers in the diagnosis and management of insect diseases in production stock. Diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and other insect pathogens can be detrimental for reared insects and may cause significant economic loss to producers. Here, we suggest how academia, commercial companies and other insect producers can jointly develop best practice for diagnosing insect diseases early and thereby manage such diseases efficiently. First, we analyse different ways of transmission of insect diseases in closed and semi-closed production facilities. Thereafter we describe four recent cases where companies have requested advice about insect pathogens in their insect stock namely: with giant mealworm Zophobas morio, yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor, house cricket Acheta domesticus, and with lesser mealworm Alphitobius diaperinus. Our experience dealing with these cases gave us insight to suggest how we should coordinate European activities to establish a service to diagnose and provide advice, and how different European laboratories specialised in insect pathology should collaborate. An important issue will be to educate a new generation of insect pathologists, who with a combination of classical insect pathology methods and the most modern tools can become professionals in diagnosing and managing the various types of insect pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
JournalJournal of Insects as Food and Feed
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2018


  • Diagnostic service
  • Europe
  • Insect pathogen
  • Insect pathogen management
  • Insect production


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