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Insects 2018, 9(1), 24;

PCR Diagnosis of Small Hive Beetles

Institute of Bee Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
Agroscope, Swiss Bee Research Centre, 3003 Bern, Switzerland
Department of Biology, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B. 704 Akure, Nigeria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Small hive beetles (SHBs), Aethina tumida, are parasites of social bee colonies native to sub-Saharan Africa and have become an invasive species at a global scale. Reliable Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnosis of this mandatory pest is required to limit its further spread and impact. Here, we have developed SHB primers, which amplify for 10 native African locations and 10 reported introductions, but not for three closely related species (Aethina concolor, Aethina flavicollis, and Aethina inconspicua). We also show that adult honey bee workers can be used as matrices for PCR-based detection of SHBs. The sensitivity of this novel method appears to be 100%, which is identical to conventional visual screenings. Furthermore, the specificity of this novel approach was also high (90.91%). Since both sensitivity and specificity are high, we recommend this novel PCR method and the new primers for routine surveillance of hives in high-risk areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aethina tumida; Apis mellifera; honey bee Aethina tumida; Apis mellifera; honey bee

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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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Ouessou Idrissou, F.; Huang, Q.; Yañez, O.; Akinwande, K.L.; Neumann, P. PCR Diagnosis of Small Hive Beetles. Insects 2018, 9, 24.

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