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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324884

Research Project: Managing and Conserving Diverse Bee Pollinators for Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Title: Molecular diagnostics of the honey bee parasites Lotmaria passim and Crithidia spp. (Trypanosomatidae) using multiplex PCR

item Tripodi, Amber
item SZALANSKI, ALLEN - University Of Arkansas
item TRAMMEL, CLINTON - University Of Arkansas
item CLEARY, DYLAN - University Of Arkansas
item RUSERT, LAUREN - Hawaii Department Of Agriculture
item DOWNEY, DANIELLE - Hawaii Department Of Agriculture

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Trypanosomatids are an important group of parasitic protozoa that infect mostly invertebrate hosts. Honey bees are susceptible to trypanosomatid infection, and historically, all trypanosomatid infections in honey bees were thought to be caused by the organism Crithidia mellificae. Recently however, molecular and microscopy work has revealed that honey bees are hosts to at least two very different trypanosomids: C. mellificae and the newly described Lotmaria passim. These two organisms are likely to affect bees differently, yet they are difficult to discriminate without the expense of DNA sequencing. We have developed a novel diagnostic tool that can distinguish between these two honey bee parasites using multiplex PCR and gel imaging, which allow an accurate diagnosis without DNA sequencing. We also report the first records of L. passim in honey bees from Hawaii and American Samoa.

Technical Abstract: Lotmaria passim Schwarz is a recently described trypanosome parasite of honey bees in continental United States, Europe, and Japan. We developed a multiplex PCR technique using a PCR primer specific for L. passim to distinguish this species from C. mellificae. We report the presence of L. passim in Hawaii and American Samoa for the first time here. More importantly, this will be a useful diagnostic technique for screening honey bee samples for the presence of this pathogenic trypanosome.