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Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program

Jorgen Ravoet (UGent) , Lina De Smet (UGent) , Tom Wenseleers and Dirk de Graaf (UGent)
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Abstract
Background: The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014. Results: We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the egg samples being infected with at least one virus. The most abundant viruses were Deformed Wing Virus and Sacbrood Virus (>= 40%), although Lake Sinai Virus and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus were also occasionally detected (between 10-30%). In addition, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus occurred at very low prevalences (<= 5%). Remarkably, we found Apis mellifera carnica bees to be less infected with Deformed Wing Virus than Buckfast bees ( p < 0.01), and also found them to have a lower average total number of infecting viruses ( p < 0.001). This is a significant finding, given that Deformed Wing Virus has earlier been shown to be a contributory factor to winter mortality and Colony Collapse Disorder. Moreover, negative-strand detection of Sacbrood Virus in eggs was demonstrated for the first time. Conclusions: High pathogen loads were observed in this sanitary control program. We documented for the first time vertical transmission of some viruses, as well as significant differences between two honey bee races in being affected by Deformed Wing Virus. Nevertheless, we could not demonstrate a correlation between the presence of viruses and queen breeding efficacies.
Keywords
viruses, negative-strand detection, honey bee, eggs, vertical transmission, DEFORMED WING VIRUS, ACUTE PARALYSIS VIRUS, APIS-MELLIFERA L., SACBROOD VIRUS, PREVALENCE, INFECTION, MULTIPLICATION, APIARIES, ROUTES, WINTER

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Chicago
Ravoet, Jorgen, Lina De Smet, Tom Wenseleers, and Dirk de Graaf. 2015. “Vertical Transmission of Honey Bee Viruses in a Belgian Queen Breeding Program.” Bmc Veterinary Research 11.
APA
Ravoet, J., De Smet, L., Wenseleers, T., & de Graaf, D. (2015). Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program. BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH, 11.
Vancouver
1.
Ravoet J, De Smet L, Wenseleers T, de Graaf D. Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program. BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH. 2015;11.
MLA
Ravoet, Jorgen, Lina De Smet, Tom Wenseleers, et al. “Vertical Transmission of Honey Bee Viruses in a Belgian Queen Breeding Program.” BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH 11 (2015): n. pag. Print.
@article{6862788,
  abstract     = {Background: The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50\%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014.
Results: We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75\% of the egg samples being infected with at least one virus. The most abundant viruses were Deformed Wing Virus and Sacbrood Virus ({\textrangle}= 40\%), although Lake Sinai Virus and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus were also occasionally detected (between 10-30\%). In addition, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus occurred at very low prevalences ({\textlangle}= 5\%). Remarkably, we found Apis mellifera carnica bees to be less infected with Deformed Wing Virus than Buckfast bees ( p {\textlangle} 0.01), and also found them to have a lower average total number of infecting viruses ( p {\textlangle} 0.001). This is a significant finding, given that Deformed Wing Virus has earlier been shown to be a contributory factor to winter mortality and Colony Collapse Disorder. Moreover, negative-strand detection of Sacbrood Virus in eggs was demonstrated for the first time.
Conclusions: High pathogen loads were observed in this sanitary control program. We documented for the first time vertical transmission of some viruses, as well as significant differences between two honey bee races in being affected by Deformed Wing Virus. Nevertheless, we could not demonstrate a correlation between the presence of viruses and queen breeding efficacies.},
  articleno    = {61},
  author       = {Ravoet, Jorgen and De Smet, Lina and Wenseleers, Tom and de Graaf, Dirk},
  issn         = {1746-6148},
  journal      = {BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {5},
  title        = {Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-015-0386-9},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2015},
}

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