Invasive ants found to carry novel virus and honey bee pathogens

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Invasive ants found to carry novel virus and honey bee pathogens

Postby ExpatBeekeeper » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:57 pm

Invasive species are recognized as a direct and major cause of biodiversity loss. A less recognized issue with invasive species is the concomitant introduction of microorganisms that they host, including pathogens. Novel pathogens can have devastating effects on evolutionary and immunologically naive communities. These pathogens may even facilitate their host’s invasion and contribute to bio-diversity loss through spillover and differential effects on new hosts

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Re: Invasive ants found to carry novel virus and honey bee pathogens

Postby trili » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:44 pm

Yikes, RNA sequencing and from just 60 ants! I am no geneticist, so the first paragraph is a real eye opener for me. :roll:

Discussion (from article):
"This is the first study to describe viruses in one of the world’s
most widespread, abundant and damaging invasive ants."...."Our results indicate that Argentine ants host, and likely act
as a reservoir of the DWV, an aetiological agent implicated in honeybee deaths [11]. Transmission of viruses between foraging
hymenopteran host species has been demonstrated [20 - (article on inter-taxa virus transmission via pollen)]."..." Such effects clearly represent a new
dimension to a poorly considered effect of biological invasions. When exotic species invade new environments, become widespread and abundant, they may have a major impact by becoming hosts and reservoirs for important pathogens."

My conclusion:
*The ants have the viruses, but do the bees actually contract them from the ants, could it be the other way around? Who can say?
*I am glad there are scientists that are doing the research, and who actually understand what they are doing.
*Our best hope is selecting for resistant genetics, and there is a fine line between support and interference. Pathogens evolve as well.
*Adapt and evolve, or succumb and die. Exposure either builds immunity, or causes sickness and/or demise.

Thanks for the post.

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