Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Fluorescent diagnostic test for nosema in honey bee colonies

Technology #cu15306

Nosema are microsporidian fungi that infect honey bees, potentially contributing to colony collapse disorder. Diagnosing a nosema infection in a honey bee colony is critical in maintaining the health of a colony. This technology is a diagnostic kit that allows for rapid detection of nosema fungi. The product is all-inclusive and may be used in the field, making it ideal for diagnoses. As a result, the technology has the potential to reduce and contain the spread of nosema infections that can devastate honey bee colonies.

Diagnostic test is simple, convenient, cost effective, rapid, and can be used in the field

Currently, there are no rapid diagnostic kits for nosema infections available. Instead, diagnosis of nosema for honey bee populations is dependent on polymerase chain reaction, microscopy, or electron microscopy analysis of spores. Such techniques are cumbersome and require expensive equipment that are not readily portable. To counter such limitations, the proposed diagnostic kit includes not only the sample preparation for diagnosis, but also a device that allows for detection of nosema even in the field.

This technology has been validated experimentally for research purposes.

Lead Inventor:

Jonathan Whitehead Snow, Ph.D.


  • Nosema diagnostics kit
  • Nosema research tool for identification of potential treatments and therapeutic targets
  • Diagnostics platform for the identification of other parasites in host populations


  • Currently only potential nosema diagnostics kit
  • Low-cost method for diagnosing nosema
  • Kit is all-inclusive, allowing for rapid detection in the field

Tech Ventures Reference: IR CU15306

Related Publications:

  • Publication detailing method has been prepared but not yet published