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Exp Appl Acarol. 2003;29(3-4):293-302.

Distribution of deformed wing virus within honey bee (Apis mellifera) brood cells infested with the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor.

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Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P. O. Box 7044, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


The distribution of deformed wing virus (DWV) in adult female Varroa destructor and in their progeny in relation to the pupal host bee was investigated to evaluate acquisition and transfer of DWV by the mites. The results clearly show that adult female mites regularly act as competent vectors of DWV, however, they do not acquire or transfer virus on all possible occasions. Mother mites may contain DWV while the pupal host remains free from overt infection and both mother mites and mite progeny may not acquire detectable amounts of DWV from an infected host bee. However, a majority of mites feeding on pupae that emerge with deformed wings will contain DWV. The data also demonstrates that both adult and immature mite progeny most likely acquire DWV from DWV-infected host bees and not from their mother mites. Possible explanations for the obtained results are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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