Foodborne Transmission and Clinical Symptoms of Honey Bee Viruses in Ants Lasius spp.

Schläppi, Daniel; Chejanovsky, Nor; Yañez, Orlando; Neumann, Peter (2020). Foodborne Transmission and Clinical Symptoms of Honey Bee Viruses in Ants Lasius spp. Viruses, 12(3) Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI 10.3390/v12030321

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Emerging infectious diseases are often the products of host shifts, where a pathogen jumps from its original host to a novel species. Viruses in particular cross species barriers frequently. Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) are viruses described in honey bees (Apis mellifera) with broad host ranges. Ants scavenging on dead honey bees may get infected with these viruses via foodborne transmission. However, the role of black garden ants, Lasius niger and Lasius platythorax, as alternative hosts of ABPV and DWV is not known and potential impacts of these viruses have not been addressed yet. In a laboratory feeding experiment, we show that L. niger can carry DWV and ABPV. However, negative-sense strand RNA, a token of virus replication, was only detected for ABPV. Therefore, additional L. niger colonies were tested for clinical symptoms of ABPV infections. Symptoms were detected at colony (fewer emerging workers) and individual level (impaired locomotion and movement speed). In a field survey, all L. platythorax samples carried ABPV, DWV-A and -B, as well as the negative-sense strand RNA of ABPV. These results show that L. niger and L. platythorax are alternative hosts of ABPV, possibly acting as a biological vector of ABPV and as a mechanical one for DWV. This is the first study showing the impact of honey bee viruses on ants. The common virus infections of ants in the field support possible negative consequences for ecosystem functioning due to host shifts.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Schläppi, Daniel; Chejanovsky, Nor; Yanez Amayo, Victor Orlando and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1999-4915

Publisher:

Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2021 12:26

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2021 12:26

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/v12030321

PubMed ID:

32192027

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153498

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153498

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