Publication details

Oxidative stress associated with varroa parasitism: evaluation of lipid peroxidation in infested bees



Year of publication 2022
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Varroa destructor mites are responsible for the most severe problems with honey bee health worldwide. They cause a disease named varroosis. The mites transmit a wide array of highly lethal viruses to honey bee colonies, typically the deformed wing virus (DWV). Bee responses to external and internal stressors include the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which occurs as a part of humoral immunity. High ROS production or impaired functions of the antioxidant system result in ROS accumulation and oxidative stress, leading to damage to essential biomolecules such as lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Under disturbed redox balance, cellular lipids represent a primary target of ROSinduced oxidative modifications. The process of lipid peroxidation can be assessed either at the level of reactive primary products, lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) or at the level of stable terminal products represented by malondialdehyde (MDA). This study aimed to determine lipid peroxidation levels in adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) after infestation by Varroa destructor mites during the pupal period. The collected bees were kept in plastic cages in a thermostat (34 ± 1 °C, 80 % relative humidity, dark) for 10 days and fed with a sucrose solution (1:1 w/v; sucrose/ water) and pollen ad libitum. Levels of LOOHs were quantified by the xylenol orange (FOX2) method, whereas MDA levels were determined by the thiobarbituric acid (TBARS) method. Bee infestation resulted in significantly decreased levels of both lipid peroxidation parameters compared to the control non-infested group, with the same declining trend for LOOH and MDA. These results do not conform with the hypothesis that mite attack induces oxidative stress and damage in Varroa-infested bees. The observed decline of lipid peroxidation will be addressed in further studies. This research was funded by The Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic grant QK1910286.
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