DAO 44:79-85 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao044079

Detection and quantification of infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus in penaeid shrimp by real-time PCR

Kathy F. J. Tang*, Donald V. Lightner

Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

ABSTRACT: A real-time PCR method using a fluorogenic 5¹ nuclease assay and a PE Applied Biosystems GeneAmp 5700 sequence detector was developed to detect infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV) in penaeid shrimp. A pair of PCR primers to amplify an 81 bp DNA fragment and a fluorogenic probe (TaqMan probe) were selected from ORF1 (open reading frame 1) of the IHHNV genome. The primers and TaqMan probe used in this assay were shown to be specific for IHHNV and did not react with either hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV), white-spot syndrome virus (WSSV), or shrimp DNA. A plasmid, pIHHNV-P4, containing the target IHHNV sequence was constructed and used as a positive control. The concentration of pIHHNV-P4 was determined through spectrophotometric analysis and the plasmid was used for quantitative studies. This real-time PCR assay had a detection limit of 10 copies and a log-linear range up to 5 x 107 copies of IHHNV DNA. The assay was then used to quantify IHHNV in infected shrimp collected from 5 locations: Hawaii, Panama, Mexico, Guam, and the Philippines. The quantitative analysis showed that wild-caught, large juvenile Penaeus stylirostris collected from the Gulf of California (Mexico) in 1996 were naturally infected with IHHNV and contained up to 109 copies of IHHNV µg-1 of DNA. Similar quantities of IHHNV were detected in hatchery-raised, small juvenile P. stylirostris collected from Guam in 1995 and in farm-raised, post-larval P. monodon from the Philippines in 1996. Laboratory-infected P. stylirostris contained approximately 108 copies of IHHNV 31 d after being fed with IHHNV-infected shrimp tissue. In contrast, individuals of Super Shrimp®, a line of P. stylirostris selected for IHHNV resistance, showed no signs of infection 32 d after ingesting IHHNV-infected shrimp tissue. Laboratory-infected P. vannamei also contained approximately 108 copies of IHHNV 30 d after being fed infected shrimp tissue. A time-course study of IHHNV replication in juvenile P. vannamei showed that the doubling time in the exponential growth phase was approximately 22 h.

KEY WORDS: IHHNV · Penaeid shrimp · Real-time PCR · TaqMan

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