DAO 104:129-140 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02589

Distribution, prevalence, and genetic analysis of Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1) from the Caribbean Sea

Jessica Moss1,*, Donald Behringer2,3, Jeffrey D. Shields1, Antonio Baeza4,5, Alfonso Aguilar-Perera6, Phillippe G. Bush7, Clement Dromer8, Alejandro Herrera-Moreno9, Lester Gittens4,10, Thomas R. Matthews11, Michael R. McCord12, Michelle T. Schärer13, Lionel Reynal8, Nathanial Truelove14, Mark J. Butler4

1Dept. of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062, USA
2School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32653, USA
3Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA
4Dept. of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
5Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949, USA
6Dep. de Biología Marina, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Mexico
7Dept. of Environment, Cayman Islands Government, CI Environmental Center, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
8Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (Ifremer), Pointe Fort 97231, Martinique
9Programa EcoMar Inc., Santo Domingo 10700–11999, Dominican Republic
10Dept. of Marine Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, Government of the Bahamas, Nassau 3028, Bahamas
11Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Marathon, Florida 33050, USA
12Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Environmental Division, US Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
13Dept. of Marine Science, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681
14Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

ABSTRACT: The pathogenic virus Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1) was first discovered in Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus from the Florida Keys (USA) in 1999 and has since been reported in Belize, Mexico, and Cuba; its distribution in the wider Caribbean is unknown. We collected tissue samples from adult spiny lobsters from 30 locations in 14 countries bordering the Caribbean Sea and used molecular diagnostics to assay for the presence of PaV1. PaV1 occurred primarily in the northern areas of the Caribbean, where its prevalence was highest. The virus was not found in lobsters from the southeastern Caribbean, and its prevalence was lowest in the southwestern Caribbean. DNA sequence analysis was performed on a fragment of the viral DNA to examine the genetic diversity of PaV1 on a Caribbean-wide scale. Sequence variation in the viral DNA fragment was high, with 61 unique alleles identified from 9 areas. The sharing of viral alleles in lobsters from distant locations supports the hypothesis of a strong genetic connectivity among lobsters within the Caribbean, and further supports the hypothesis that postlarvae infected with PaV1 may serve to disperse the virus over long distances.


KEY WORDS: Spiny lobster · Disease · Epidemiology · Connectivity


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Cite this article as: Moss J, Behringer D, Shields JD, Baeza A and others (2013) Distribution, prevalence, and genetic analysis of Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1) from the Caribbean Sea. Dis Aquat Org 104:129-140. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02589

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