de Miranda JR, Brettell LE, Chejanovsky N, Childers AK, Dalmon A, Deboutte W, de Graaf DC, Doublet V, Gebremedhn H, Genersch E, Gisder S, Granberg F, Haddad NJ, Kaden R, Manley R, Matthijnssens J, Meeus I, Migdadi H, Milbrath MO, Mondet F, Remnant EJ, Roberts JMK, Ryabov EV, Sela N, Smagghe G, Somanathan H, Wilfert L, Wright ON, Martin SJ, Ball BV
Virol J 19 (1) 12 [2022-01-15; online 2022-01-15]
In 1977, a sample of diseased adult honeybees (Apis mellifera) from Egypt was found to contain large amounts of a previously unknown virus, Egypt bee virus, which was subsequently shown to be serologically related to deformed wing virus (DWV). By sequencing the original isolate, we demonstrate that Egypt bee virus is in fact a fourth unique, major variant of DWV (DWV-D): more closely related to DWV-C than to either DWV-A or DWV-B. DWV-A and DWV-B are the most common DWV variants worldwide due to their close relationship and transmission by Varroa destructor. However, we could not find any trace of DWV-D in several hundred RNA sequencing libraries from a worldwide selection of honeybee, varroa and bumblebee samples. This means that DWV-D has either become extinct, been replaced by other DWV variants better adapted to varroa-mediated transmission, or persists only in a narrow geographic or host range, isolated from common bee and beekeeping trade routes.