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Viruses 2011, 3(12), 2425-2441; doi:10.3390/v3122425

Dynamics of Persistent and Acute Deformed Wing Virus Infections in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

1 Dipartimento di Entomologia e Zoologia Agraria “Filippo Silvestri”, Universita’ degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Via Universita’ n.100, 80055 Portici, Napoli, Italy 2 College of Plant Protection, Yunnan Agricultural University, Yunnan 650201, China 3 Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China 4 USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA 5 USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA These authors contributed equally to this study.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 November 2011 / Revised: 28 November 2011 / Accepted: 29 November 2011 / Published: 14 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses)
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The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees.
Keywords: bee; viruses; Varroa; vitellogenin; temperature bee; viruses; Varroa; vitellogenin; temperature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Prisco, G.D.; Zhang, X.; Pennacchio, F.; Caprio, E.; Li, J.; Evans, J.D.; DeGrandi-Hoffman, G.; Hamilton, M.; Chen, Y.P. Dynamics of Persistent and Acute Deformed Wing Virus Infections in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera. Viruses 2011, 3, 2425-2441.

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