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Development and evaluation of a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Acarapis woodi (tracheal mites) in Apis mellifera

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Giles Budge


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© 2015, INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France.The tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, is an obligate endoparasite of honeybees and a regulated pest in countries where these mites are absent. This work describes the development of a real-time PCR method for detecting tracheal mites in honeybees. The real-time PCR was evaluated for specificity, sensitivity and speed to detect A. woodi, compared to the standard manual thoracic disc method (TDM). The assay detected A. woodi down to a 1 % incidence level in bees and 1000 copies of the target DNA when using plasmid standards. Initial testing showed no cross-reaction with the other two Acarapis species from different geographical regions or with other species of mites associated with bees. However, during extensive testing of bees, a rare population of Acarapis externus mite was identified that did cross-react with the assay. Despite this cross-reaction, the assay has been shown to be a useful screening tool and results are reliable if the TDM is used as a backup to screen hives where a positive signal is obtained.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Delmiglio C, Fan QH, George S, Ward L, Budge G, Flynn A, Kumarasinghe L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Apidologie

Year: 2016

Volume: 47

Issue: 5

Pages: 691-702

Print publication date: 01/09/2016

Online publication date: 15/12/2015

Acceptance date: 26/11/2015

ISSN (print): 0044-8435

ISSN (electronic): 1297-9678

Publisher: Springer-Verlag France


DOI: 10.1007/s13592-015-0420-8


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