Detection of Moku virus and replication in honey bees and social wasps

Highfield, A, Kevill, Jessica, Mordecai, G, Hunt, J, Henderson, S, Sauvard, D, Feltwell, J, Martin, SJ ORCID:, Sumner, S and Schroeder, DC 2020, 'Detection of Moku virus and replication in honey bees and social wasps' , Viruses, 12 (6) , p. 607.

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Transmission of honey bee viruses to other insects, and vice versa, has previously been reported and the true ecological importance of this phenomenon is still being realized. Members of the family Vespidae interact with honey bees via predation or through the robbing of brood or honey from colonies, and these activities could result in virus transfer. In this study we screened Vespa velutina and Vespa crabro collected from Europe and China and also honey bees and Vespula vulgaris from the UK for Moku virus (MV), an Iflavirus first discovered in the predatory social wasp Vespula pensylvanica in Hawaii. MV was found in 71% of Vespula vulgaris screened and was also detected in UK Vespa crabro. Only seven percent of Vespa velutina individuals screened were MV-positive and these were exclusively samples from Jersey. Of 69 honey bee colonies screened, 43% tested positive for MV. MV replication was confirmed in Apis mellifera and Vespidae species, being most frequently detected in Vespula vulgaris. MV sequences from the UK were most similar to MV from Vespula pensylvanica compared to MV from Vespa velutina in Belgium. The implications of the transfer of viruses between the Vespidae and honey bees are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Viruses
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1999-4915
Related URLs:
Funders: The Bee Disease Insurance LTD, The C. B. Dennis Trust, Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC)
Depositing User: SJ Martin
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 07:39
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:52

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