Two microsporidia species of the Nosema genus cause nosemosis in the adult honeybee: N. apis and N. ceranae. For diagnostic purposes and the determination of infection level various microscopic and molecular biological methods are used. Th e aim of this research was to compare the reliability of the traditional microscopic assessment and two PCR techniques: simplex- and duplex-PCR. Honey bee samples were taken from 150 colonies. Microscopic examination, performed according to the recommendations of the OIE, revealed Nosema spores in 68.67% samples analysed, whilst with the simplex-PCR method all samples (100.0%) proved positive. On the other hand, duplex-PCR method used for the identifi cation of Nosema species resulted in 84.0% positive samples, all of which were N. ceranae. Our recommendation of the simplex-PCR method for the monitoring of honey bees in fi eld conditions is based on its higher reliability than the microscopic assessment in the detection of low-level infections, as well as its potential for the detection of vegetative Nosema sp. stages; thus the early detection and timely prevention of Nosema infection would be possible. Nosema species identifi cation is simplest and most cost-eff ective if performed with the duplex-PCR analysis. However, the simplex-PCR is more reliable, thus, it is suggested that samples that were negative when assessed with microscopy and duplex-PCR analysis undergo simplex-PCR.
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