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J Invertebr Pathol. 2010 Jan;103 Suppl 1:S73-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2009.06.017. Epub 2009 Nov 11.

Nosema ceranae in European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

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Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7044, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden.


Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite described from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. The parasite is cross-infective with the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is not known when or where N. ceranae first infected European bees, but N. ceranae has probably been infecting European bees for at least two decades. N. ceranae appears to be replacing Nosema apis, at least in some populations of European honey bees. This replacement is an enigma because the spores of the new parasite are less durable than those of N. apis. Virulence data at both the individual bee and at the colony level are conflicting possibly because the impact of this parasite differs in different environments. The recent advancements in N. ceranae genetics, with a draft assembly of the N. ceranae genome available, are discussed and the need for increased research on the impacts of this parasite on European honey bees is emphasized.

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