DAO 23:165-173 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/dao023165

Pathogenicity of a baculovirus infection causing white spot syndrome in cultured penaeid shrimp in Taiwan

Chou HY,Huang CY, Wang CH, Chiang HC, Lo CF

Outbreaks of a disease causing serious losses among populations of cultured penaeid shrimp, including Penaeus monodon, P. japonicus and P. penicillatus, in Taiwan are characterized by obvious white spots on the carapace, appendages and the inside surface of the body. For this reason, we propose the name 'white spot syndrome' (WSS). Healthy juvenile kuruma shrimp P. japonicus were exposed by immersion to epidermal filtrate from diseased P. japonicus and P. monodon which exhibited marked white spot signs. These experimentally infected shrimp resembled the spontaneously infected ones. Cumulative mortalities reached 100% within 5 to 7 d and were significantly affected by catching and temperature stress. A non-occluded rod-shaped viral particle was found by electron microscopy in the epidermis of both spontaneously and experimentally infected kuruma shrimp. Virions were enveloped, 330 +/- 20 nm in length and 87 +/- 7 nm in diameter. The close resemblance in external signs and viral morphology between spontaneously diseased and experimentally infected shrimp indicated that the rod-shaped virus may be the main causative agent of the disease characterized by white spot syndrome in Taiwan.

Baculovirus . Pathogenicity . Penaeid shrimp . White spots . Taiwan

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