DAO 38:1-10 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao038001

Characterization and PCR detection of hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) from Penaeus monodon in Thailand

Wasana Sukhumsirichart1, Chainarong Wongteerasupaya4, Vichai Boonsaeng1,*, Sakol Panyim1, Siriporn Sriurairatana5, Boonsirm Withyachumnarnkul2, T. W. Flegel3

1Dept. Biochemistry, 2Dept. Anatomy, 3Dept. Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
4Dept. Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
5Dept. Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
*Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) causes disease in several species of penaeid shrimp. Heavy infections may result in poor growth and reduced production for shrimp farmers. From one southern Thai shrimp pond with a high prevalence of HPV infection, 790 shrimp were sampled randomly and the hepatopancreas (HP) removed. Most HP were preserved in liquid nitrogen. However, every 10th HP (79 total) was divided into 2 parts appropriately fixed for examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and light microscopy. Based on light microscopy, the prevalence of HPV infection in the pond was approximately 30% and its presence was confirmed by TEM of parallel samples. The virus was subsequently purified from hepatopancreatic homogenates of the samples preserved in liquid nitrogen. Negative staining of the purified viral preparation revealed unenveloped, icosahedral viral particles 22 to 24 nm in diameter. Agarose gel electrophoresis of nucleic acid extracts revealed the presence of 2 fragments, one very intense (5.8 kb) and the other weak (4.2 kb). The larger fragment was degraded by DNase I and S1 nuclease, indicating single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) characteristic of the viral family Parvoviridae. The smaller fragment was degraded by DNase I but not by S1 nuclease, indicating that it comprised double-stranded DNA. A genomic DNA library of the 5.8 kb ssDNA was constructed in pUC18 and a clone containing a 659 bp fragment specific and sensitive for HPV was selected for sequencing. Based on this sequence, an HPV-specific primer set was designed to yield a 156 bp amplicon by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. The expected 156 bp amplicon was obtained only in the presence of HPV DNA template (at as little as 1 fg purified DNA) and not with nucleic acid templates extracted from healthy shrimp tissue or other shrimp pathogens. It is hoped that this PCR assay will be useful to shrimp aquaculturists for early detection and screening of shrimp larvae, parental broodstock or other possible carriers of HPV in the shrimp cultivation system.

KEY WORDS: Hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) · Polymerase chain reaction · Penaeus monodon

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