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J Gen Virol. 2009 Feb;90(Pt 2):463-7. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.005579-0.

Deformed wing virus: replication and viral load in mites (Varroa destructor).

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Institute for Bee Research, Hohen Neuendorf, Germany.


Deformed wing virus (DWV) normally causes covert infections but can have devastating effects on bees by inducing morphological deformity or even death when transmitted by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. In order to determine the role of V. destructor in the development of crippled wings, we analysed individual mites for the presence and replication of DWV. The results supported the correlation between viral replication in mites and morphologically deformed bees. Quantification of viral genome equivalents revealed that mites capable of inducing an overt DWV infection contained 10(10)-10(12) genome equivalents per mite. In contrast, mites which could not induce crippled wings contained a maximum of only 10(8) viral genome equivalents per mite. We conclude that the development of crippled wings not only depends on DWV transmission by V. destructor but also on viral replication in V. destructor and on the DWV titre in the parasitizing mites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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