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BeeDoctor, a Versatile MLPA-Based Diagnostic Tool for Screening Bee Viruses
Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. A new multiparameter assay, called “BeeDoctor”, was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. The “BeeDoctor” assay was used to screen 363 apparently healthy colonies from randomly selected apiaries throughout Flanders. This survey showed that almost 80% of colonies are infected with at least one virus, and many with multiple infections, showing that virus infections in apiaries are quite common, even in the absence of clinical symptoms.

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0047953
 

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Thank you for posting this. I've looked at the PLOSONE report, didn't understand most of what the report said, and was left with a question:

How is the BeeDoctor technique going to make me a better beekeeper?
 

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" virus infections in apiaries are quite common,"

I'm not sure this is a bad thing.Since the only "cure " for a virus is the host's immune system,wouldn't this at low levels impart some immunity for a healthy host.(I'm thinking flu shot)
 

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In many cases, virus itself does not kill. Secondary bacterial (or other problem) infection kills. I do not think, that this test is anyhow useful from practical point of view. If somebody developed the test for human - they will discover that we are full of horrible viruses, but ... alive! In normal situation, immune system keeps viruses under control.
 
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