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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309021

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Evidence of the synergistic effect of honey bee pathogens nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus

Author
item Zheng, Huoqing - Zhejiang University
item Gong, Hong-ri - Zhejiang University
item Huang, Shaokang - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Sohr, Alex - University Of Maryland
item Hu, Fu-liang - Zhejiang University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy

Submitted to: Veterinary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Zheng, H., Gong, H., Huang, S., Sohr, A., Hu, F., Chen, Y. 2015. Evidence of the synergistic effect of honey bee pathogens nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus. Veterinary Microbiology. 177(1):1-6.

Interpretive Summary: The synergistic interactions between pathogens can lead to increased adverse effects on host health. Here we investigated the synergistic effect of two honey bee pathogens, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Nosema at different nutrition statuses. Our results showed that two pathogens were acting synergistically in infected bees in a dose-dependent manner and that the replication of DWV was positively correlated with the concentration of Nosema introduced into bees. Poor nutritional conditions appeared to be additive to the synergistic interaction. Therefore, we conclude that the synergistic interactions between two pathogens could possibly contribute to bee colony losses. The information obtained from this study should be of interest to the researchers, graduate students, apiary inspectors, and beekeepers in the honey bee society worldwide.

Technical Abstract: Nosema ceranae and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) are two of the most prevalent pathogens currently attacking Western honey bees, Apis mellifera, and often simultaneously infect the same hosts. Here we investigated the synergistic effect of two pathogens under lab conditions and at different nutrition statuses. Our results showed that Nosema could induce DWV replication in infected bees in a dose-dependent manner at the early stages of DWV infection. When bees were restricted from pollen nutrition, inoculation with 1*104 and 1*105 spores/bee could cause a significant increase in DWV titer, while inoculation with 1*103 spores / bee did not show any significant effect on the DWV titer. When bees were provided with pollen, only inoculation with 1*105 spores / bee showed significant effect on DWV titer. However, our results also showed that the two pathogens did not act synergistically when the titer of DWV reached a plateau. This study suggests that the synergistic effect of N. ceranae and DWV is dosage- and nutrition- dependent and that the synergistic interactions between two pathogens could have implication on honey bee colony losses.