Location: Bee Research LaboratoryTitle: Seasonal variation of viral infections between the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana and the Western honey bee Apis mellifera in China
|CHEN, GONGWEN - Zhejiang University|
|WU, YUZI - Zhejiang University|
|WEN, ZHENGSHENG - Zhejiang University|
|DENG, JIE - Zhejiang University|
|WANG, SHUAI - Zhejiang University|
|Chen, Yanping - Judy|
|HU, FULIANG - Zhejiang University|
|ZHENG, HUOQING - Zhejiang University|
Submitted to: MicrobiologyOpen
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2020
Publication Date: 2/4/2021
Citation: Chen, G., Wu, Y., Wen, Z., Deng, J., Wang, S., Chen, Y., Hu, F., Zheng, H. 2021. Seasonal variation of viral infections between the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana and the Western honey bee Apis mellifera in China. MicrobiologyOpen. https://doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.1162.
Interpretive Summary: In Asian, including China, it is a common practice for colonies of Asian honey bees and European honey bees to be kept at the same location. This practice would increase the spillover opportunities for parasites, such as viruses, between the two host bee species. We conducted a one-year large-scale survey to provide an update of the current status of virus infections in Asian honey bees and European honey bees in China. Our results revealed significant differences in seasonality of viral infections between two host species. This study provides important insights into the interactions between viruses and their hosts, which will be in turn useful for guiding the development of disease management programs for honey bees. The information gained from this study should be of interest to the researchers, graduate students, beekeepers and policymakers worldwide.
Technical Abstract: It is a widespread practice in China for both European honey bee A. mellifera and Asian honey bee A. cerana colonies to be kept in close proximity. This practice would increase the spillover opportunities for parasites, such as viruses, between the two host bee species, thereby impacting spatial and temporal patterns in occurrence and prevalence of viruses that adversely affect bee health. We, therefore, conducted a one-year large-scale survey to provide an update of the current status of the virus infection in both A. mellifera and A. cerana in China. Our study focused on multiple aspects of virus infections in honey bees including infection rate, viral load, seasonal variation, and phylogenetic relationships of the viruses with the same species found in other parts of the world. The survey showed that Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), and Sacbrood virus (SBV) were common virus infection detected in both A. mellifera and A. cerana,. DWV was the most prevalent virus in summer, autumn, winter among the five viruses, whereas the highest infection rate in spring was BQCV. The infection rate and viral load of DWV in autumn and BQCV in spring were significantly higher in A. mellifera than those in A. cerana, demonstrating that A. mellifera colonies are more susceptible than A. cerana to viruses vectored by parasitic Varroa mite. Meanwhile, the infection rate and viral load of SBV in spring were significantly higher in A. cerana than those in A. mellifera. Our results clearly demonstrated that the virus infectionsvaried between host species and among seasons. The phylogenetic analyses of DWV, IAPV, BQCV, and SBV suggest cross species transmission of these viruses between A. mellifera and A. cerana. This study is the first comparative study of seasonal variation of viral infections between A. cerana and A. mellifera and provided important insights into the intricate relationships between viruses and their hosts which will be important for developing effective disease management strategies to improve bee health.