There is an increasing global trend of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) affecting a wide range of species, including honey bees. The global epidemic of the single stranded RNA Deformed wing virus (DWV), driven by the spread of Varroa destructor has been well documented. However, DWV is just one of many insect RNA viruses which infect a wide range of hosts. Here we report the full genome sequence of a novel Iflavirus named Moku virus (MV), discovered in the social wasp Vespula pensylvanica collected in Hawaii. The novel genome is 10,056 nucleotides long and encodes a polyprotein of 3050 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis showed that MV is most closely related to Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV), which is highly virulent in honey bees but rarely detected. Worryingly, MV sequences were also detected in honey bees and Varroa from the same location, suggesting that MV can also infect other hymenopteran and Acari hosts.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the C.B. Dennis British Beekeepers' Research Trust for funding this research. GJM is funded by the British Beekeepers Association and the University of Reading. LB and SJM are funded by C. B. Dennis, Apis. M and OECD. DCS is funded by The Marine Biological Association Senior Research Fellowship. IMJ is funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.