Occurrence of six honeybee viruses in diseased Austrian apiaries

Olga Berényi, Tamás Bakonyi, Irmgard Derakhshifar, Hemma Köglberger, Norbert Nowotny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


The occurrence, prevalence, and distribution patterns of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Kashmir bee virus (KBV), and sacbrood virus (SBV) were investigated in 90 Austrian honeybee colonies suffering from symptoms of depopulation, sudden collapse, paralysis, or dark coloring by employing reverse transcription-PCR. Infestation with parasites was also recorded. The samples originated from all parts of Austria. The most prevalent virus was DVW, present in 91% of samples, followed by ABPV, SBV, and BQCV (68%, 49%, and 30%, respectively). CBPV was detected in 10% of colonies, while KBV was not present in any sample. In most samples, more than one virus was identified. The distribution pattern of ABPV, BQCV, CBPV, and SBV varied considerably in the different geographic regions investigated, while DWV was widespread in all Austrian federal states. In bees that showed dark coloring and disorientation, CBPV was always detected. Simultaneous infections of DWV and ABPV were most frequently observed in colonies suffering from weakness, depopulation, and sudden collapse. Bees obtained from apparently healthy colonies within the same apiaries showed a similar distribution pattern of viruses; however, the relative virus load was 10 to 126 times lower than in bees from diseased colonies. A limited number of bee samples from surrounding central European countries (Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia) were also tested for the presence of the above viruses. Variances were found in the distribution of BQCV and SBV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2414-2420
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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