Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 26, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Kashmir bee virus (KBV) is found in U.S. honey bees. It is considered the most virulent virus of all known viruses infecting honey bees. If transmitted by Varroa mites, KBV can multiply rapidly and kill the bees within three days. Therefore, KBV could become a serious problem for the U.S. beekeeping industry. We developed a molecular technique that can detect KBV not only in the whole bee extract, but also in the excretion of individual bees. Therefore, the queen can be tested for KBV without being killed. This detection technique can be used to certify KBV-free queens sold to beekeepers and prevent the spread of this serious honey bee pathogen.
Two PCR primers were designed from two partial nucleotide sequences of Kashmir bee virus (KBV) genome. Direct RT-PCR using this primer pair generated a 547bp amplicon in Canadian and U.S. KBV, but not in the Australian KBV, acute paralysis virus or black queen cell virus. The same RT-PCR protocol detected KBV in the fecal materials of queen and worker bees. This technique can be used to certify KBV-free queens sold to beekeepers.