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Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2015 Aug 1;10:71-82.

Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA ; Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA ; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA.
2
Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, USA.

Abstract

Honey bees are significant pollinators of agricultural crops and other important plant species. High annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and in some parts of Europe have profound ecological and economic implications. Colony losses have been attributed to multiple factors including RNA viruses, thus understanding bee antiviral defense mechanisms may result in the development of strategies that mitigate colony losses. Honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms include RNA-interference, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered signal transduction cascades, and reactive oxygen species generation. However, the relative importance of these and other pathways is largely uncharacterized. Herein we review the current understanding of honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms and suggest important avenues for future investigation.

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