DAO 32:151-155 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/dao032151

Experimental Vibrio harveyi infections in Penaeus vannamei larvae

P. A. W. Robertson1, J. Calderon2, L. Carrera2,*, J. R. Stark1, M. Zherdmant2, B. Austin1,**

1Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland, UK
2Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigaciones Marinas, Campus Politécnico, PO Box 09-01-4519, Guayaquil, Ecuador
*Deceased
**Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

A culture of Vibrio harveyi, isolated from diseased Penaeus vannamei, was pathogenic in penaeid shrimp larvae when used in a bath at 105 cells ml-1 for 2 h. The resultant disease had characteristics of Bolitas negricans, as observed in Ecuadorian hatcheries, namely the development of bioluminescence, reduced feeding and retarded development, sluggish swimming, reduced escape mechanisms, degeneration of hepatopancreatic tissue with resultant formation of necrotic bundles, and increased mortality. Koch's Postulates were confirmed by reisolation and identification of the organism. Histopathology showed the presence of distinctive melanotic tissue aggregates within the hepatopancreas, with immunohistochemistry confirming the presence of large numbers of V. harveyi in the intestine and hepatopancreas. These results indicate a suitable infection protocol, which can be used to test the pathogenicity of putative pathogens of penaeid shrimp larvae.


Vibrio harveyi · Penaeus vannamei larvae · Pathogenicity


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