HONEYBEE DISEASE: Deformed wing virus is a recent global epidemic in honeybees driven byVarroamites

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Abstract

Deformed wing virus (DWV) and its vector, the miteVarroa destructor,are a major threat to the world's honeybees. Although the impact ofVarroaon colony-level DWV epidemiology is evident, we have little understanding of wider DWV epidemiology and the role thatVarroahas played in its global spread. A phylogeographic analysis shows that DWV is globally distributed in honeybees, having recently spread from a common source, the European honeybeeApis mellifera.DWV exhibits epidemic growth and transmission that is predominantly mediated by European and North American honeybee populations and driven by trade and movement of honeybee colonies. DWV is now an important reemerging pathogen of honeybees, which are undergoing a worldwide manmade epidemic fueled by the direct transmission route that theVarroamite provides.

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