Molecular identification of chronic bee paralysis virus infection in Apis mellifera colonies in Japan

Tomomi Morimoto, Yuriko Kojima, Mikio Yoshiyama, Kiyoshi Kimura, Bu Yang, Tatsuhiko Kadowaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sac brood virus (SBV), previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6%) in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (-) strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985-2010) may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1103
Number of pages11
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Apis cerana japonica
  • Apis mellifera
  • Chronic bee paralysis virus
  • Phylogeny

Cite this