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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340456

Research Project: Managing Honey Bees against Disease and Colony Stress

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Title: Acute bee paralysis virus occurs in the Asian honeybee Apis cerana and parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae

Author
item Chanpanitkitchote, Pichaya - Chiang Mai University
item Chen, Yanping - Judy
item Evans, Jay
item Li, Wenfeng - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Li, Jianghong - Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University
item Hamilton, Michele
item Chantawannakul, Panuwan - Chiang Mai University

Submitted to: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2017
Publication Date: 11/20/2017
Citation: Chanpanitkitchote, P., Chen, Y., Evans, J.D., Li, W., Li, J., Hamilton, M.C., Chantawannakul, P. 2017. Acute bee paralysis virus occurs in the Asian honeybee Apis cerana and parasitic mite Tropilaelaps mercedesae. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 152:131-136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2017.11.009.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2017.11.009

Interpretive Summary: Among parasites and pathogens attacking honey bees, viruses present one of the major threats to the well-being and health of honey bees. Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) is a common virus identified in European honey bees and has been reported to be associated with honey bee colony losses previously. Here we provide the first evidence that ABPV can also attack Asian honey bees which are also valuable pollinators in agricultural and ecological systems. The genetic analysis indicated that the geographical proximity of host species likely plays an important role in host range expansion. This result illustrates the remarkable adaptability of honey bee viruses and emphasizes the importance of viral disease control as an integrated part of biodiversity conservation efforts. The results from our study should be of interest to the researchers, graduate students, apiary inspectors, and beekeepers worldwide.

Technical Abstract: Viruses, and especially RNA viruses, constantly change and adapt to new host species and vectors, posing a potential threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases. Honey bee Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Deformed wing virus (DWV) are two of the most common honey bee viruses found in European honey bees Apis mellifera and have been implemented in worldwide Varroa-associated bee colony losses. Previous studies have shown that DWV has jumped hosts several times in history causing infection in multiple host species. In the present study, we show that DWV infection could be detected in the Asian honey bee, A. cerana, and its parasitic mite Tropilaelaps. mercedesae, confriming previous findings that DWV is a multi-host pathogen and supporting the notion that the high prevelance of DWV in honey bee host populations could be attributed to the high adaptability of this virus. Furthermore, our study provides the first evidence that ABPV occurs in both A. cerana and M. mercedesae in northern Thailand. The geographical proximity of host species likely played an important role in the initial exposure and the subsequent cross-species transmission of the viruses. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that ABPV might have moved from T. mercedesae to A. mellifera and to A. cerana while DWV might have moved in the opposite direction from A. cerana to A. mellifera and T. mercedesae. This result may reflect the differences in virus life history and virus-host interactions, warranting further investigation of virus transmission, epidemilogy, and impacts of virus infections in the new hosts. The results from this study indicate that viral populations will continue to evolve and likely continue to expand host range, increasing the need for effective surveillance and control of virus infections in honey bee populations.