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J Gen Virol. 2008 Jul;89(Pt 7):1685-9. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.83223-0.

Immunolocalization of deformed wing virus particles within the mite Varroa destructor.

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Centre for Soils and Ecosystem Function, Department of Plant and Invertebrate Ecology, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden AL5 2JQ, UK.


Deformed wing virus (DWV) induces wing deformation when bees are infected during their pupal development. Field observations and laboratory experiments suggest that the mite Varroa destructor is a vector of the virus. Moreover, it has been stated that DWV replicates within this mite. In order to understand the role of V. destructor in the transmission of DWV, the objective of this work was to locate the sites of retention and/or replication of DWV within the mite by immunohistochemistry. There was no evidence that DWV was replicating in the mite as no tissues showed specific antibody binding to DWV. Also, there were no specific structures that could be suggested as retention sites. DWV was found only in the midgut lumen of V. destructor in structures resembling large, dense spheres, which were presumably faecal pellets.

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