, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 364–374 | Cite as

Nosema ceranae, a newly identified pathogen of Apis mellifera in the USA and Asia

  • Yan Ping ChenEmail author
  • Zachary Y. Huang
Open Access
Review Article


Globalization has provided opportunities for parasites/pathogens to cross geographic boundaries and expand to new hosts. Nosema disease is one of the most serious adult honey bee diseases and has high prevalence in honey bee colonies. For years, Nosema apis was thought to be the only microsporidian infecting domestic bee colonies. However, recently it was discovered that N. ceranae could cross the species barrier from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) to European honey bees (Apis mellifera) that are widely used for crop pollination and honey production. Over the last few years, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of Nosema infections in honey bees. This review summarizes previous findings and recent progress in the understanding of Nosema infection of A. mellifera in the USA and Asia, with particular emphasis on the comparative epidemiological, morphological, pathological, and genomic organization of two Nosema species. The prospects of future research and remaining unresolved questions associated with the study of honey bee Nosema diseases are also discussed.

Nosema apis N. ceranae host range distribution morphology pathology genome 

Nosema ceranae, un agent pathogène d’Apis mellifera nouvellement identifié aux États-Unis et en Asie

Nosema apis Nosema ceranae spectre d’hôtes distribution morphologie pathologie génome 

Nosema ceranae, ein neu entdecktes Pathogen von Apis mellifera in den USA und Asien


Nosema ist ein sporenbildender Parasit, der eine ernsthafte Erkrankung der erwachsenen Honigbienen verursacht und von einer Forschergruppe in Zusammenhang mit dem Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) gebracht wurde. Die Erkrankung wird durch zwei verschiedene Nosema-Arten, N. apis und N. ceranae verursacht. Wir weisen nach, dass N. ceranae der für Bienen in den USA und Asien vorherrschende Erreger ist. Wir präsentieren auch die erste vollständige pathologische, genetische und genomische Analyse dieses Pathogens. Die Informationen aus dieser Arbeit können von anderen Forschern und Sachverständigen genutzt werden, um Bienenvölker auf die Krankheit hin zu untersuchen und um effektive Maßnahmen zu ihrer Bekämpfung zu entwickeln.

Nosema apis N. ceranae Wirtsspektrum Verteilung Morphologie Pathologie Genom 


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Copyright information

© Springer S+B Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bee Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Entomology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and BehaviorMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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