DAO 70:167-170 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao070167

Increased tolerance of Litopenaeus vannamei to white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) infection after oral application of the viral envelope protein VP28

Jeroen Witteveldt1, Just M. Vlak1,*, Mariëlle C. W. van Hulten1,2

1Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 11, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands
2Present address: CSIRO Livestock Industries, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, 306 Carmody Road, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland 4067, Australia
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: It has been generally accepted that invertebrates such as shrimp do not have an adaptive immune response system comparable to that of vertebrates. However, in the last few years, several studies have suggested the existence of such a response in invertebrates. In one of these studies, the shrimp Penaeus monodon showed increased protection against white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) using a recombinant VP28 envelope protein of WSSV. In an effort to further investigate whether this increased protection is limited to P. monodon or can be extended to other penaeid shrimp, experiments were performed using the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. As found with P. monodon, a significantly lower cumulative mortality for VP28-fed shrimp was found compared to the controls. These experiments demonstrate that there is potential to use oral application of specific proteins to protect the 2 most important cultured shrimp species, P. monodon and L. vannamei, against WSSV. Most likely, this increased protection is based on a shared and, therefore, general defence mechanism present in all shrimp species. This makes the design of intervention strategies against pathogens based on defined proteins a viable option for shrimp culture.


KEY WORDS: White spot syndrome virus · VP28 · Vaccination · Structural proteins · Litopenaeus vannamei · Immunology


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