Evidence for and against deformed wing virus spillover from honey bees to bumble bees : a reverse genetic analysis
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Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a persistent pathogen of European honey bees and the major contributor to overwintering colony losses. The prevalence of DWV in honey bees has led to significant concerns about spillover of the virus to other pollinating species. Bumble bees are both a major group of wild and commercially-reared pollinators. Several studies have reported pathogen spillover of DWV from honey bees to bumble bees, but evidence of a sustained viral infection characterized by virus replication and accumulation has yet to be demonstrated. Here we investigate the infectivity and transmission of DWV in bumble bees using the buff-tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris as a model. We apply a reverse genetics approach combined with controlled laboratory conditions to detect and monitor DWV infection. A novel reverse genetics system for three representative DWV variants, including the two master variants of DWV - type A and B - was used. Our results directly confirm DWV replication in bumble bees but also demonstrate striking resistance to infection by certain transmission routes. Bumble bees may support DWV replication but it is not clear how infection could occur under natural environmental conditions.
Gusachenko , O N , Woodford , L , Balbirnie-Cumming , K , Ryabov , E V & Evans , D J 2020 , ' Evidence for and against deformed wing virus spillover from honey bees to bumble bees : a reverse genetic analysis ' , Scientific Reports , vol. 10 , 16847 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-73809-3
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DescriptionFunding: This work was supported by grant funding from BBSRC BB/M00337X/2 and BB/I000828/1. This research was also supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant 2017-06481 (EVR).
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