, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 49-58
Date: 19 May 2011

Dominance of Nosema ceranae in honey bees in the Balkan countries in the absence of symptoms of colony collapse disorder

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Nosema species were determined in honey bees from Balkan countries. A total of 273 Nosema-positive samples were analysed. Duplex PCR and PCR-RFLP with newly designed primers, nos-16S-fw/rv, were used to differentiate between N. apis and N. ceranae. N. apis was detected in only one sample (collected in 2008 in Serbia) and N. ceranae in all the others (N = 272) including 35 older samples from Serbia collected between 2000 and 2005. No co-infection was detected. The results suggest (1) the dominance of N. ceranae infection in all Balkan countries monitored throughout the last three years; (2) the presence of N. ceranae in Serbia at least since 2000, which means that N. ceranae has not recently displaced N. apis; (3) the higher efficacy of PCR-RFLP with newly designed primers, nos-16S-fw/rv, in comparison with duplex PCR (100%:82%, respectively). The prevalence of N. ceranae in Balkan countries was not associated with an increase in nosemosis or colony losses resembling Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Manuscript editor: Peter Rosenkranz