Israeli acute paralysis virus impact on Apis mellifera queens’ attractiveness, transmission routes, and trans-generational immune priming

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Wendy Kendy Zuluaga Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Olav Rueppell

Abstract: European honey bees (Apis mellifera) are economically and ecologically important due to the large-scale pollination service they offer a myriad of plant species. In 2015, honey bee pollination augmented crop value in the United States by 15 billion dollars. A high density of individuals combined with a homeostatic nest environment facilitates the impact of pathogens and parasites on honey bee health. Among these parasites is Varroa destructor, a vector for Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and other viruses, which harm honey bee health. Since its discovery in 2004, IAPV is largely understudied in regards to queen-virus interactions. Therefore, my study focused on the impact of IAPV on the queens’ attractiveness, transmission routes, and the potential of trans-generational immune priming. IAPV prevalence was surveyed in experimental colonies and IAPV was present in three life history stages: egg, capped brood, and adult, suggesting vertical and horizontal transmission routes of IAPV. No experimental evidence for an influence of IAPV on the queens’ attractiveness and for trans-generational immune priming was found. Due to the lack of effective methods to determine viral infection level of live queens, the IAPV status of treatment queens was evaluated at the end of the experiment. IAPV infection of the inoculated queens was highly variable. My study is one of the few studies that focused on queen health and lays the foundation for future studies. Such future studies are required to conclusively evaluate immune priming and the impact of IAPV on queens’ attractiveness.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Apis mellifera, Attractiveness, Immune Priming, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, Queens, Transmission Routes
Honeybee $x Diseases
Queen honeybees

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