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Effets de Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) sur la santé de l’abeille domestique Apis mellifera L. : changements physiologiques et comportementaux

Abstract : Nosema ceranae is an emergent parasite of the honey bee Apis mellifera. In some regions it has been found to be the main reason for bee mortality, while in others it is suspected of weakening honey bee colonies by interacting with other environmental stressors. In the context of worldwide colony losses, we focus our research on the study of N. ceranae, with the hypothesis that this parasite is able to induce behavioral changes in bees through physiological modifications, which could alter social organization and cause colony death. Given this hypothesis, the program of study falls into three areas; (i) N. ceranae effects on colony social organization, (ii) molecular mechanisms of N. ceranae infection underlying observed effects, and (iii) differences in virulence of N. ceranae strains which could explain the diversity of parasite effects. We obtained three main results. First, we observed modifications in honey bee social structure after infection. This mechanism under pheromone control, would reduce parasite transmission within the colony and increase the lifespan of healthy bees. These changes may contribute to colony survival as part of a mechanism of social immunity. Second, we found two mechanisms whereby the pathogen affects the physiology of bee midgut epithelium that could lead to host mortality: oxidative stress and the inhibition of cellular renewal. Finally, our results suggest that certain host and environmental conditions increase the probability that N. ceranae will cause bee mortality. In conclusion, N. ceranae has the potential to cause bee death, however at colony level bees might counteract infection through, for example, social immunity mechanisms; although, overall honey bee response to infection would depend on characteristics of the host in combination with environmental conditions. Worldwide colony losses phenomenon have highlighted the fragility of the “honey bee colony – environment” system. The study of each factor involve in this system, including parasites, pesticides, environmental changes and beekeeping practices, is essential to better understand all of the interactions that maintain the ecological balance of honey bee colonies
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Claudia Marcela Dussaubat-Arriagada. Effets de Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) sur la santé de l’abeille domestique Apis mellifera L. : changements physiologiques et comportementaux. Biologie animale. Université d'Avignon, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012AVIG0641⟩. ⟨tel-00866903⟩

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