There are a number of RNA virus pathogens that represent a serious threat to the health of managed honey bees (Apis mellifera). That some of these viruses are also found in the broader pollinator community suggests the wider environmental spread of these viruses, with the potential for a broader impact on ecosystems. Studies on the ecology and evolution of these viruses in the arthropod community as a whole may therefore provide important insights into these potential impacts. We examined managed A. mellifera colonies, nearby non- Apis hymenopteran pollinators, and other associated arthropods for the presence of five commonly occurring picorna-like RNA viruses of honey bees - black queen cell virus, deformed wing virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus and sacbrood virus. Notably, we observed their presence in several arthropod species. Additionally, detection of negative-strand RNA using strand-specific RT-PCR assays for deformed wing virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus suggests active replication of deformed wing virus in at least six non- Apis species and active replication of Israeli acute paralysis virus in one non- Apis species. Phylogenetic analysis of deformed wing virus also revealed that this virus is freely disseminating across the species sampled in this study. In sum, our study indicates that these viruses are not specific to the pollinator community and that other arthropod species have the potential to be involved in disease transmission in pollinator populations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Infectious Diseases