Get access

The differential development of microsporidia infecting worker honey bee (Apis mellifera) at increasing incubation temperature

Authors

  • Mariano Higes,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro Apícola Regional, Bee Pathology Laboratory, Consejería de Agricultura, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla – La Mancha, 19180 Marchamalo, Spain.
      E-mail mhiges@jccm.es; Tel. (+34) 949 25 00 26; Fax (+34) 949 25 01 76.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Pilar García-Palencia,

    1. Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cristina Botías,

    1. Centro Apícola Regional, Bee Pathology Laboratory, Consejería de Agricultura, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla – La Mancha, 19180 Marchamalo, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Aránzazu Meana,

    1. Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Raquel Martín-Hernández

    1. Centro Apícola Regional, Bee Pathology Laboratory, Consejería de Agricultura, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla – La Mancha, 19180 Marchamalo, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author

E-mail mhiges@jccm.es; Tel. (+34) 949 25 00 26; Fax (+34) 949 25 01 76.

Summary

In the last century, nosemosis caused by Nosema apis is traditionally considered as a low-prevalence disease of Apis mellifera, even though it occurs worldwide. Colonies affected by N. apis display low levels of infection during summer, a small peak in autumn and usually a slow rise during winter. However, nosemosis due to Nosema ceranae is considered as an emergent illness that is posing a major threat to the health of individual honey bees and whole bee colonies. The symptoms of infection by these two pathogens are very different, as are the virulence, spread and pathogenicity. We have carried out experiments in artificially infected worker honey bees maintained in the laboratory at two different temperatures. Both microsporidia developed as expected for up to 4 days after infection at 33.0°C, but when maintained for 5 or 7 days at 37.2°C, only N. ceranae completed its life cycle in infected honey bees, while the development of N. apis was inhibited. This and other published data suggest that N. ceranae is eurythermal whereas N. apis is stenothermal. The higher temperature tolerance recorded may be related to the higher prevalence of N. ceranae reported worldwide.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary