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Title: Within-Colony Transmission of Microsporidian and Trypanosomatid Parasites in Honey Bee and Bumble Bee Colonies
Contributor(s): Pinilla-Gallego, Mario S (author); Williams, Emma E (author); Davis, Abby  (author)orcid ; Fitzgerald, Jacquelyn L (author); McArt, Scott H (author); Irwin, Rebecca E (author)
Publication Date: 2020
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvaa112
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ISSN: 1938-2936
Source of Publication: Environmental Entomology, 49(6), p. 1393-1401

Parasites are commonly cited as one of the causes of population declines for both managed and wild bees. Epidemiological models sometimes assume that increasing the proportion of infected individuals in a group should increase transmission. However, social insects exhibit behaviors and traits which can dampen the link between parasite pressure and disease spread. Understanding patterns of parasite transmission within colonies of social bees has important implications for how to control diseases within those colonies, and potentially the broader pollinator community. We used bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infected with the gut parasites Crithidia bombi (Lipa & Triggiani) (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae) and Nosema ceranae (Fries et al.) (Dissociodihaplophasida: Nosematidae), respectively, to understand how the initial proportion of infected individuals impacts within-colony spread and intensity of infection of the parasites. In bumble bees, we found that higher initial parasite prevalence increased both the final prevalence and intensity of infection of C. bombi. In honey bees, higher initial prevalence increased the intensity of infection in individual bees, but not the final prevalence of N. ceranae. Measures that reduce the probability of workers bringing parasites back to the nest may have implications for how to control transmission and/or severity of infection and disease outbreaks, which could also have important consequences for controlling disease spread back into the broader bee community.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 3109 Zoology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: tbd
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Peer Reviewed: Yes
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