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    Nosema ceranae is a highly prevalent intracellular parasite of honey bees' midgut worldwide. This Microsporidium was monitored during a long-term study to evaluate the infection at apiary and intra-colony levels in six apiaries in four Mediterranean countries (France, Israel, Portugal, and Spain). Parameters on colony strength, honey production, beekeeping management, and climate were also recorded. Except for São Miguel (Azores, Portugal), all apiaries were positive for N. ceranae, with the lowest prevalence in mainland France and the highest intra-colony infection in Israel. A negative correlation between intra-colony infection and colony strength was observed in Spain and mainland Portugal. In these two apiaries, the queen replacement also influenced the infection levels. The highest colony losses occurred in mainland France and Spain, although they did not correlate with the Nosema infection levels, as parasitism was low in France and high in Spain. These results suggest that both the effects and the level of N. ceranae infection depends on location and beekeeping conditions. Further studies on host-parasite coevolution, and perhaps the interactions with other pathogens and the role of honey bee genetics, could assist in understanding the difference between nosemosis disease and infection, to develop appropriate strategies for its control.


    Clara Jabal-Uriel, Laura Barrios, Anne Bonjour-Dalmon, Shiran Caspi-Yona, Nor Chejanovsly, Tal Erez, Dora Henriques, Mariano Higes, Yves Le Conte, Ana R Lopes, Aránzazu Meana, Maria Alice Pinto, Maritza Reyes-Carreño, Victoria Soroker, Raquel Martín-Hernández. Epidemiology of the Microsporidium Nosema ceranae in Four Mediterranean Countries. Insects. 2022 Sep 16;13(9)

    PMID: 36135545

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