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Multiple Virus Infections in Western Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Ejaculate Used for Instrumental Insemination

Department of Virology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 296/70, 621 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(4), 306;
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Viruses and Pest Management)
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Instrumental insemination of Apis mellifera L. queens is a widely employed technique used in honeybee breeding that enables the effective control of mating. However, drone semen represents a potential source of honeybee viruses. In this study, 43 semen doses collected from apparently healthy drones, and consequently used in instrumental insemination, were analysed using PCR or RT-PCR to detect the presence of viral genome of 11 honeybee viruses. In 91% of samples, viral infection was detected. The survey revealed genomes of five viruses, namely Deformed wing virus (DWV), Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Sacbrood virus (SBV), and A. mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) in 84%, 19%, 14%, 2%, and 67% of samples, respectively. Single infection (30% of samples) as well as multiple infection (61% of samples) of two, three or four pathogens were also evaluated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study describing the presence of the BQCV and SBV genome sequence in drone ejaculate. Phylogenetic analysis of BQCV partial helicase gene sequence revealed the high similarity of nucleotide sequence of described Czech strains, which varied from 91.4% to 99.6%. The findings of our study indicate the possibility of venereal transmission of BQCV and SBV. View Full-Text
Keywords: honeybees; ejaculate; instrumental insemination; virus detection; BQCV; SBV honeybees; ejaculate; instrumental insemination; virus detection; BQCV; SBV

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Prodělalová, J.; Moutelíková, R.; Titěra, D. Multiple Virus Infections in Western Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Ejaculate Used for Instrumental Insemination. Viruses 2019, 11, 306.

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