Prevalence and phylogenetic analysis of honey bee viruses in the Biobío Region of Chile and their association with other honey bee pathogens
Different episodes of mortalities of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have been associated with the presence of honey bee pathogens. Since the Biobío Region has among the highest number of apiaries in Chile, the aim of the present study was to identify viruses in the Region affecting honey bees, evaluate their relation to other pathogens, and conduct a phylogenetic analysis. Pupae and adult bees were collected from 60 apiaries of Apis mellifera L. in the Biobío Region over 2 yr. RNA viruses were detected by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), and Acarapis woodi, Nosema spp., and Varroa destructor via PCR. Three viruses were detected: Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV) and Deformed wing virus (DWV) in 2%, 10%, and 42% of the apiaries, respectively. No statistical correlation was observed between the presence of the different viruses, V. destructor, A. woodi, and the two Nosema species, and the bee development stages. One year after the first sampling, DWV and BQCV were detected mainly in foraging adult bee samples. Three percent of the apiaries were infected with N. apis and 18% with N. ceranae, 5% were positive for V. destructor, while A. woodi was not detected. PCR products were sequenced and compared to the Genbank database. Chilean sequences of ABPV, BQCV, and DWV showed high percentages of similarity to other isolates in South America.