A scientific note on Israeli acute paralysis virus infection of Eastern honeybee Apis cerana and vespine predator Vespa velutina

01 Feb 2013

The Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV, Maori et al., 2007; de Miranda et al., 2010) is widespread in Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) for whom it can be a marker of colony losses (Cox-Foster et al., 2007). It has also been found in other Hymenoptera (e.g. Vespula vulgaris, Singh et al., 2010), but the ability of the virus to replicate in such alternative hosts still has to be confirmed, as has been shown recently for the ectoparasite Varroa destructor (Di Prisco et al., 2011). We investigated whether IAPV can be found in Western and Eastern (A. cerana) honey bees and in their hornet predator Vespa velutina in China and whether this virus is able to replicate in these organisms. Positive-strand RNA virus replication requires the production of negative-strand RNA replicative intermediates. Detection of negative-strand RNA of IAPV in A. cerana and V. velutina, would strongly support their function as alternative hosts of this virus.