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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris

Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elke Genersch and Sebastian Gisder
Viruses 2015, 7(6), 3172-3185;
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honeybee Viruses)
Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a single-stranded RNA virus, has a worldwide distribution and affects honeybees as well as other important pollinators. IAPV infection in honeybees has been successfully repressed by exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the insect’s innate immune response with virus-specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here we investigated the effect of IAPV infection in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its tissue tropism. B. terrestris is a common pollinator of wild flowers in Europe and is used for biological pollination in agriculture. Infection experiments demonstrated a similar pathology and tissue tropism in bumblebees as reported for honeybees. The effect of oral administration of virus-specific dsRNA was examined and resulted in an effective silencing of the virus, irrespective of the length. Interestingly, we observed that non-specific dsRNA was also efficient against IAPV. However further study is needed to clarify the precise mechanism behind this effect. Finally we believe that our data are indicative of the possibility to use dsRNA for a broad range viral protection in bumblebees. View Full-Text
Keywords: IAPV; dsRNA; bumblebee; virus; immune response IAPV; dsRNA; bumblebee; virus; immune response
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Piot, N.; Snoeck, S.; Vanlede, M.; Smagghe, G.; Meeus, I. The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris. Viruses 2015, 7, 3172-3185.

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