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    This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and infection levels of the microsporidia fungi Nosema apis and/or Nosema ceranae in honey bee colonies of two Canadian provinces. Three surveys were conducted in the springs of 2008, 2010 and 2012 and PCR identification of Nosema species were performed in samples from 169 and 181 Ontario colonies and from 76 Alberta colonies that tested positive to Nosema spp. Infection levels of positive colonies were determined by microscopy and analyzed by Nosema spp. Results showed that N. ceranae was the dominant species in all three surveys (prevalence range of 41-91 vs. 4-34 % for N. apis), whereas mixed infections were less frequent than single infections (5-25 %). Infection levels of colonies parasitized by N. ceranae were three to five times higher than those of colonies parasitized by N. apis in the three surveys whereas mixed infections showed the highest spore counts. This is the first field study demonstrating significantly higher infection levels in colonies parasitized with either N. ceranae only or with both, N. ceranae and N. apis, than in colonies parasitized with N. apis only. Taken together, these results suggest that N. ceranae may be more virulent and better adapted than N. apis in cold climates such as Canadian environments.


    Berna Emsen, Ernesto Guzman-Novoa, Mollah Md Hamiduzzaman, Les Eccles, Brian Lacey, Rosario A Ruiz-Pérez, Medhat Nasr. Higher prevalence and levels of Nosema ceranae than Nosema apis infections in Canadian honey bee colonies. Parasitology research. 2016 Jan;115(1):175-81

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    PMID: 26358102

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