Microbial Ecology

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 761–764 | Cite as

Nosema ceranae in South American Native Stingless Bees and Social Wasp

  • Martín Pablo Porrini
  • Leonardo Pablo Porrini
  • Paula Melisa Garrido
  • Carlos de Melo e Silva Neto
  • Darío Pablo Porrini
  • Fernando Muller
  • Laura Alejandra Nuñez
  • Leopoldo Alvarez
  • Pedro Fernandez Iriarte
  • Martín Javier Eguaras


Besides the incipient research effort, the role of parasites as drivers of the reduction affecting pollinator populations is mostly unknown. Given the worldwide extension of the beekeeping practice and the diversity of pathogens affecting Apis mellifera populations, honey bee colonies are a certain source of parasite dispersion to other species. Here, we communicate the detection of the microsporidium Nosema ceranae, a relatively new parasite of honey bees, in stingless bees (Meliponini) and the social wasp Polybia scutellaris (Vespidae) samples from Argentina and Brazil by means of duplex PCR. Beyond the geographic location of the nests, N. ceranae was detected in seven from the eight Meliponini species analyzed, while Nosema apis, another common parasite of A. mellifera, was absent in all samples tested. Further research is necessary to determine if the presence of the parasite is also associated with established infection in host tissues. The obtained information enriches the current knowledge about pathologies that can infect or, at least, be vectored by native wild pollinators from South America.


Stingless bee Polybia scutellaris Microsporidia Nosema apis 



The authors would like to thank Raquel Martín Hernández for technical assistance. This study was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 2014-394). Reviewer’s comments have been really useful.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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248_2017_975_MOESM2_ESM.docx (727 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martín Pablo Porrini
    • 1
  • Leonardo Pablo Porrini
    • 1
  • Paula Melisa Garrido
    • 1
  • Carlos de Melo e Silva Neto
    • 2
  • Darío Pablo Porrini
    • 3
  • Fernando Muller
    • 4
  • Laura Alejandra Nuñez
    • 5
  • Leopoldo Alvarez
    • 6
  • Pedro Fernandez Iriarte
    • 7
  • Martín Javier Eguaras
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, CONICETUniversidad Nacional de Mar del PlataMar del PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnólogia de GoiásGoiásBrazil
  3. 3.GENEBSO, INBIOTEC, UNMdP, CONICETMar del PlataArgentina
  4. 4.Centro de Cría y mejoramiento de abejas “Erich Karl Faltus”CapiovíArgentina
  5. 5.Laboratorio de Industrias AlimenticiasUniversidad Nacional del Chaco AustralPres. R. Sáenz PeñaArgentina
  6. 6.División Entomología, Museo de La Plata, CONICETUniversidad Nacional de La PlataLa PlataArgentina
  7. 7.Laboratorio de Genética, Dto. de Biología, CONICET, UNMdPMar del PlataArgentina

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