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PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jul 31;10(7):e1004261. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004261. eCollection 2014 Jul.

Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health.

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USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, BARC-East Building, Beltsville, Maryland, United States of America.
Microarray Core Facility, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.
USDA-ARS Bovine Functional Genomic Laboratory, BARC-East Building, Beltsville, Maryland, United States of America.
Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States of America.
Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, California, United States of America.
USDA-ARS, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America.
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States of America.
USDA-ARS Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, United States of America.
Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, United States of America.
Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America.
Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, United States of America.
School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, United States of America.
USDA-ARS Biometrical Consulting Services, Beltsville, Maryland, United States of America.
Center for Infection and Immunity, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America.
National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Disease, George Mason University, Manassas, Virginia, United States of America.
College of Bee Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China.
College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.
Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, People's Republic of China.
Eastern Bee Research Institute, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, People's Republic of China.
Institute for Environmental Genomics (IEG), University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, United States of America.
Sericulture and Apiculture Department, National Academy of Agricultural Science, RDA Suwon, Republic of Korea.
Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios/SAA-SP, Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo, Brazil.


Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV-host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide.

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