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J Invertebr Pathol. 2006 Jul;92(3):152-9. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

Horizontal and vertical transmission of viruses in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

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USDA-ARS, Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


The most crucial stage in the dynamics of virus infections is the mode of virus transmission. In general, transmission of viruses can occur through two pathways: horizontal and vertical transmission. In horizontal transmission, viruses are transmitted among individuals of the same generation, while vertical transmission occurs from mothers to their offspring. Because of its highly organized social structure and crowded population density, the honey bee colony represents a risky environment for the spread of disease infection. Like other plant and animal viruses, bee viruses use different survival strategies, including utilization of both horizontal and vertical routes, to transmit and maintain levels in a host population. In this review, we explore the current knowledge about the honey bee viruses and transmission routes of bee viruses. In addition, different transmission strategies on the persistence and dynamics of host-pathogen interactions are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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