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J Gen Virol. 2010 Oct;91(Pt 10):2524-30. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.022434-0. Epub 2010 Jun 2.

Genetic characterization of slow bee paralysis virus of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

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School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BL, Republic of Ireland.


Complete genome sequences were determined for two distinct strains of slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The SBPV genome is approximately 9.5 kb long and contains a single ORF flanked by 5'- and 3'-UTRs and a naturally polyadenylated 3' tail, with a genome organization typical of members of the family Iflaviridae. The two strains, labelled 'Rothamsted' and 'Harpenden', are 83% identical at the nucleotide level (94% identical at the amino acid level), although this variation is distributed unevenly over the genome. The two strains were found to co-exist at different proportions in two independently propagated SBPV preparations. The natural prevalence of SBPV for 847 colonies in 162 apiaries across five European countries was <2%, with positive samples found only in England and Switzerland, in colonies with variable degrees of Varroa infestation.

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