By: Vincent Piou, Frank Schurr, Eric Dubois and Angélique Vétillard
Varroa destructor is the foremost ectoparasite of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera). By means of each its parasitic life-cycle and its function as a vector of viral pathogens, it could possibly trigger main harm to honey bee colonies. The deformed wing virus (DWV) is the most typical virus transmitted by this ectoparasite, and the mite is correlated to elevated viral prevalence and viral masses in infested colonies. DWV variants A and B (DWV-A and DWV-B, respectively) are the 2 main DWV variants, they usually differ each of their virulence and transmission dynamics.
We studied the transmission of DWV between bees, parasitic mites and their offspring by quantifying DWV masses in bees and mites collected in in vitro and in situ environments. In vitro, we artificially transmitted DWV-A to mites and quantified each DWV-A and DWV-B in mites and bees. In situ, we measured the pure presence of DWV-B in bees, mites and mites’ offspring.
Bee and mite viral masses had been correlated, and mites carrying each variants had been related to increased mortality of the contaminated host. Mite infestation elevated the DWV-B masses and decreased the DWV-A masses in our laboratory situations. In situ, viral quantification within the mite offspring confirmed that, after an initially non-infected egg stage, the DWV-B masses had been extra carefully correlated with the foundress (mom) mites than with the bee hosts.
The affiliation between mites and DWV-B was highlighted on this research. The parasitic historical past of a mite immediately impacts its DWV an infection potential throughout the remainder of its life-cycle (when it comes to variant and viral masses). Concerning the mite’s progeny, we hypothesize that the route of contamination is probably going by the feeding website fairly than by vertical transmission, though additional research are wanted to substantiate this speculation.
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