Chronic bee paralysis virus
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Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV)
The virus causes chronic paralysis in honeybees, characterized by trembling, flightlessness and crawling. Virus infections are associated with the nervous system of the bees. The virus has a worldwide distribution and outbreaks occur erratically. They lead to losses of many workers and collapse of the colony. However, many infections remaining symptomless. The virus is transmitted by contact between healthy and infected bees and is also present in the honeybee feces. Artificial infections of bees lead to symptoms after 5-6 days. Two types of symptoms have been described:
• The first type is characterized by trembling of the wings and body, a bloated abdomen, gathering of sick bees in front of the hive entrance or bees crawling on the ground.
• In the second type, bees loose their hair on the abdomen and appear dark and shiny, they also become flightless and die after a few days.
The virus particles are 30–60 nm long and about 20 nm wide. The genome is composed of positive single-stranded RNA, divided into RNA 1 (3674 nt) and RNA 2 (2305 nt). There are seven putative overlapping open reading frames, three on RNA 1 and four on RNA 2. The virus has not yet been assigned to a genus or family.