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Comparison of qPCR and Morphological Methods For Detection of Acarapis Woodi in Honey Bee Samples

Quintana, Silvina, Szawarski, Nicolás, Sarlo, Gabriel, Medici, Sandra, Rivero, Mariana, Eguaras, Martin, Maggi, Matias
Journal of apicultural science 2019 v.63 no.1 pp. 125-129
Acarapis woodi, Apis mellifera, adults, diagnostic sensitivity, diagnostic techniques, honey bee colonies, honey bees, microscopy, mite infestations, mites, monitoring, parasites, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, surveys
The honey bee tracheal mite Acarapis woodi is an internal obligate parasite of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera). The small size of the mites and location within the bee’s trachea create a challenge for diagnostic identification. Detailed assessment of low-level mite infestation involves microscopic examination of the bee’s tracheae, but this traditional diagnostic method takes a long time. In recent years, new molecular diagnostic techniques have been developed to identify A. woodi with the use of PCRs. The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic sensitivity of microscopic examination and qPCR method for the detection of A. woodi in honey bee samples. Thirty-six samples were analyzed with both methods and qPCR was more sensitive than the microscopic method to detect A. woodi. This work demonstrates the practical application of molecular technology as a support tool for surveys and contingency management and to provide robust surveillance data on the presence or absence of A. woodi in honey bee colonies.