Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2007
Publication Date: 9/30/2007
Citation: Chen, Y., Evans, J.D., Smith Jr, I.B., Pettis, J.S. 2007. Nosema Ceranae is a long present and wide spread microsporidian infection of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the United States. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 92:152-159. Interpretive Summary: Nosema disease is caused by a spore-forming pathogen that invades the digestive tracts of adult honey bees and can cause extensive honey bee losses. We conducted studies to investigate the occurrence, distribution, and historical incidence of Nosema infection in the United States, using a molecular method. Our results provide the first evidence that this particular species of Nosema is a long-present and widely-spread infection of the European honey bee in the United States. This information can be used by other researchers and apiary inspectors to investigate honey bee colonies for disease infections.
Technical Abstract: Nosema is a serious disease of adult honey bees and a major threat to the beekeeping industry. To investigate the presence, distribution, and historical occurrence of two different Nosema species, N. apis and N. ceranae, in the United States, we examined bee samples collected between 1995 and 2007 from 12 states, using three sets of primer combinations to detect and differentiate different Nosema species present in single bees. Our results showed that N. ceranae is a wide-spread microsporidian infection of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera in the U. S. The discovery of N. ceranae in bees collected a decade ago indicates that N. ceranae is not a new emerging pathogen for A. mellifera, but was actually transferred from its original host, Apis carina to A. mellifera earlier than previously recognized. The spread of N. ceranae infection in A. mellifera in the U.S. warrants further epidemiological and pathogenetic studies to identify conditions that resulted in such a widespread infection.