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Insects 2019, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10010009

Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Honey Bee Queen–Worker Interaction and Potential Virus Transmission Pathways

1
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, USA
2
Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7613, USA
3
Life Science Division, U.S. Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC 27709-2211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract

Queen loss or failure is an important cause of honey bee colony loss. A functional queen is essential to a colony, and the queen is predicted to be well protected by worker bees and other mechanisms of social immunity. Nevertheless, several honey bee pathogens (including viruses) can infect queens. Here, we report a series of experiments to test how virus infection influences queen–worker interactions and the consequences for virus transmission. We used Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) as an experimental pathogen because it is relevant to bee health but is not omnipresent. Queens were observed spending 50% of their time with healthy workers, 32% with infected workers, and 18% without interaction. However, the overall bias toward healthy workers was not statistically significant, and there was considerable individual to individual variability. We found that physical contact between infected workers and queens leads to high queen infection in some cases, suggesting that IAPV infections also spread through close bodily contact. Across experiments, queens exhibited lower IAPV titers than surrounding workers. Thus, our results indicate that honey bee queens are better protected by individual and social immunity, but this protection is insufficient to prevent IAPV infections completely. View Full-Text
Keywords: queen; honey bee viruses; Israeli acute paralysis virus; queen loss; virus transmission queen; honey bee viruses; Israeli acute paralysis virus; queen loss; virus transmission
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Amiri, E.; Seddon, G.; Zuluaga Smith, W.; Strand, M.K.; Tarpy, D.R.; Rueppell, O. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Honey Bee Queen–Worker Interaction and Potential Virus Transmission Pathways. Insects 2019, 10, 9.

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