Isolation and characterization of Israeli acute paralysis virus, a dicistrovirus affecting honeybees in Israel: evidence for diversity due to intra- and inter-species recombination.
ABSTRACT We report the isolation, purification, genome-sequencing and characterization of a picorna-like virus from dead bees in Israel. Sequence analysis indicated that IAPV (Israeli acute paralysis virus) is a distinct dicistrovirus. It is most homologous to Kashmir bee virus and acute bee paralysis virus. The virus carries a 9487 nt RNA genome in positive orientation, with two open reading frames separated by an intergenic region, and its coat comprises four major proteins, the sizes of which suggest alternate processing of the polyprotein. IAPV virions also carry shorter, defective-interfering (DI)-like RNAs. Some of these RNAs are recombinants of different segments of IAPV RNA, some are recombinants of IAPV RNA and RNA from another dicistrovirus, and yet others are recombinants of IAPV and non-viral RNAs. In several of the DI-like RNAs, a sense-oriented fragment has recombined with its complement, forming hairpins and stem-loop structures. In previous reports, we have shown that potyviral and IAPV sequences are integrated into the genome of their respective hosts. The dynamics of information exchange between virus and host and the possible resistance-engendering mechanisms are discussed.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season. In particular, the data support that V. destructor is a key player for losses, arguably in line with its specific impact on the health of individual bees and colonies.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e32151. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Dead or alive: deformed wing virus and Varroa destructor reduce the life span of winter honeybees.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Elevated winter losses of managed honeybee colonies are a major concern, but the underlying mechanisms remain controversial. Among the suspects are the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, and associated viruses. Here we hypothesize that pathogens reduce the life expectancy of winter bees, thereby constituting a proximate mechanism for colony losses. A monitoring of colonies was performed over 6 months in Switzerland from summer 2007 to winter 2007/2008. Individual dead workers were collected daily and quantitatively analyzed for deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), N. ceranae, and expression levels of the vitellogenin gene as a biomarker for honeybee longevity. Workers from colonies that failed to survive winter had a reduced life span beginning in late fall, were more likely to be infected with DWV, and had higher DWV loads. Colony levels of infection with the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and individual infections with DWV were also associated with reduced honeybee life expectancy. In sharp contrast, the level of N. ceranae infection was not correlated with longevity. In addition, vitellogenin gene expression was significantly positively correlated with ABPV and N. ceranae loads. The findings strongly suggest that V. destructor and DWV (but neither N. ceranae nor ABPV) reduce the life span of winter bees, thereby constituting a parsimonious possible mechanism for honeybee colony losses.Applied and environmental microbiology 12/2011; 78(4):981-7. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV) and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43562. · 4.09 Impact Factor