Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Highly contagious honey bee virus transmitted by mites

08.06.2012
Researchers in Hawaii and the UK report that the parasitic 'Varroa' mite has caused the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) to proliferate in honey bee colonies.
This association is now thought to contribute to the world-wide spread and probable death of millions of honey bee colonies. The current monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States alone is estimated at about $15-$20 billion annually

The research conducted in Hawaii by researchers at Sheffield University, the Marine Biological Association, FERA and University of Hawaii, and reported in the journal Science (8 June 2012), showed how Varroa caused DWV – a known viral pathogen – to increase its frequency among honey bee colonies from 10% to 100%.

This change was accompanied by a million-fold increase in the number of virus particles infecting each honey bee and a massive reduction in viral strain diversity leading to the emergence of a single 'virulent' DWV strain.

As the mite and new virulent strain of virus becomes established across the Hawaiian islands the new emerging viral landscape will mirror that found across the rest of the world where Varroa is now established.

This ability of a mite to permanently alter the honey bee viral landscape may by a key factor in the recent colony collapse disorder (CCD) and over-wintering colony losses (OCL) as the virulent pathogen strain remains even after the mites are removed.

Notes for editors

Honey bee populations can experience spectacular crashes. The most recent being the well publicized colony collapse disorder (CCD), but its cause remains a mystery.

Varroa is a large mite (~1.5mm x1mm) that lives on the surface of honeybees, feeding off their blood and reproducing on their developing brood.

The arrival and spread of Varroa across the Hawaiian Islands offered a unique opportunity during 2009 and 2010 to track the evolutionary change in the honey bee virus landscape.

The mite facilitates the spread of viruses by acting as a viral reservoir and incubator, although four bee viruses often associated with CCD (Kashmir bee, Slow paralysis, Acute bee paralysis and Israeli acute paralysis virus) were not influenced by Varroa in Hawaii.

One bee virus, the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), has been implicated in colony losses, for example over wintering colony losses (OCL), as it appears to become ubiquitous wherever Varroa occurs.

DWV is naturally transmitted between bees via feeding or during mating. However, the mites introduce DWV directly into the bee's blood while feeding so creating a new viral transmission route that bypasses many of the bees' natural defensive barriers.

DWV is a tiny virus similar in structure to polio or foot and mouth virus and has only 9 genes.

DWV infected bees may display the classic wing deformity, but the vast majority of infected bees do not show any morphological signs of infection.

The dominant strain found on Oahu and now Big Island is identical to that found in other areas of the world indicating that the situation on Hawaii is a mirror to what has happened right across the globe.

Based on comparisons between the 2009 and 2010 the changes in viral diversity associated with Varroa appear stable and persist even after the parasite levels are reduced via mite treatments.

Dr Stephen J Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sheffield.ac.uk

Further reports about: CCD DWV Hawaiian OCL Virus WING bee colonies honey bee honey bee colonies

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>