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Title: Evidence of Apis cerana sacbrood virus infection in Apis mellifera

item GONG, HONG-RI - Zhejiang University
item CHEN, XIU-XIAN - Zhejiang University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item HU, FU-LIANG - Zhejiang University
item ZHANG, JIANG-LIN - Zhejiang University
item LIN, ZHE-GUANG - Zhejiang University
item YU, JI-WEI - Zhejiang University
item ZHANG, HUO-QING - Zhejiang University

Submitted to: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2016
Publication Date: 1/22/2016
Citation: Gong, H., Chen, X., Chen, Y., Hu, F., Zhang, J., Lin, Z., Yu, J., Zhang, H. 2016. Evidence of Apis cerana sacbrood virus infection in Apis mellifera. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. doi: 10.1128/AEM.03292-15.

Interpretive Summary: Sacbrood virus (SBV) is a very common virus primarily infecting honeybee brood and can exist as different strains based on the host of origin and geographic location of first isolation and causes more serious health problems in Asian honey bees than in European honey bees. We conducted studies to investigate the infectivity of a SBV strain (AcSBV) originally isolated from Asian honey bees in European honey bees under both field and laboratory conditions. Our studies showed that AcSBV is able to cause infections in European bee colonies but with a low prevalence and disease activity. These results from our studies provide new insight into the different susceptibility of Asian honey bees and European honey bees to Sacbrood disease and should be of interest to the researchers, graduate students, apiary inspectors, and beekeepers in the honey bee society worldwide.

Technical Abstract: Sacbrood virus (SBV) is one of the most serious threats to Apis cerana but is much less destructive to Apis mellifera. In previous studies, SBV isolates infecting A. cerana and A. mellifera were identified as different serotypes, suggesting a species-barrier of SBV infection. In order to clarify whether A. cerana SBV isolates (AcSBV) could cause infection in A. mellifera, we examined presence of AcSBV infection in 318 A. mellifera colonies-by performing both artificial infection experiment under both laboratory and field conditions. The results showed that thirty-eight (11.95%) A. mellifera colonies were found to be positive with SBV infection. Phylogenetic analysis based on RdRp gene sequences indicated that two of the isolates were clustered into A. cerana clades. In the artificial infection experiments, negative-strand RNA of AcSBV could be detected both in adult bees and larvae of A. mellifera, demonstrating the replication of AcSBV in A. mellifera. Our results suggest that AcSBV is able to infect A. mellifera colonies with low prevalence (0.63% in this study) and pathogenicity. This work will help understand the different susceptibility of A. cerana and A. mellifera to sacbrood disease and is potentially useful for guiding beekeeping practices.