Israelii Acute Paralysis VirusIn 2000 the Israeli beekeepers suffered massive bee loses. These were due to the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus which belongs to the dicitroviridae family which in its turn is part of the Picornaviridae super family. This virus is quite similar yet different from the viruses causing the Acute Bee Paralysis and the Kashmir Bee Paralysis Virus.
The viruses belonging to the Piconraviridae family are characterized by the presence of only one open reading frame with in encoded poly-protein. The viruses that belong to the Dicistroviridae family have not one but two open frames that encode two poly-proteins.
The Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is considered to be one of the causes of the famous Colony Collapse Disorder. There have been identified two strains of the Israeli virus on the US territory. Thus, one strain is typical for the bee families living in apiaries across the East and North part of the USA. The other is typical for the bee families in the west. The strain of the Israeli virus identified on the territory of Israeli is quite different from those that were identified on the American and Australian territories. This points out that the virus undergoes fast mutation on the US territory. In 2007 the virus was identified in more than nineteen US states and on French territory too, beekeepers stating that they had lost almost ninety per cent of their bee population.
The Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is made of isometric particles that have a diameter equal to twenty-eight nm. There are four proteins that encapsulate the virus. The virus is dangerous since ninety per cent of the infested bees died in three-five days after catching the Israeli virus. If the bees take the virus from infested food than the mortality rate drops with ten per cent.
It has been discovered that the honey bees that manage to survive an Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus infestation have a very interesting and special characteristic. Thus, part of the viral genes mixed with the DNA giving life to new genotypes of honey bees. The combination of virus RNA and bee RNA created a sort of hybrid molecule. The hybrid RNA is integrated through specific process with the genome of the honey bee. The process was identified by prof. Ilan Sela and a group of Israeli scientists.
Honey bees infested with Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus have shivering wings and die because of paralysis in a few days. The infested dead bees are found outside the hive. They either crawl there or are dragged there by the other bees in their attempt to fight the killing disease.
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