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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 100:125-133 (2012)  -  DOI:

Variability in clinical prevalence of PaV1 in Caribbean spiny lobsters occupying commercial casitas over a large bay in Mexico

Rebeca I. Candia-Zulbarán, Patricia Briones-Fourzán*, Fernando Negrete-Soto, Cecilia Barradas-Ortiz, Enrique Lozano-Álvarez

Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Prol. Av. Niños Héroes s/n, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, 77580 Mexico

ABSTRACT: In Bahía de la Ascensión, Mexico, the fishery for spiny lobsters Panulirus argus is based on the extensive use of casitas, large artificial shelters that can harbor the full size range of these highly gregarious lobsters. The discovery of a pathogenic virus in these lobsters (Panulirus argus virus 1, or PaV1) has raised concern about its potential effects on casita-based fisheries. Because in Bahía de la Ascensión visibly infected lobsters represent an immediate loss of revenue, we examined variability in clinical prevalence of PaV1 (percentage of lobsters visibly infected) in thousands of lobsters sampled from the commercial catch at the onset of 3 consecutive fishing years, and from 530 casitas distributed over 3 zones within the bay during 2 fishing and 2 closed seasons. In the commercial catch (lobsters 67 to 147 mm carapace length [CL]), clinical prevalence of PaV1 was low and was not affected by year or sex. In lobsters (9.2 to 115.0 mm CL) that occupied casitas, clinical prevalence of PaV1 varied with sampling season and was always higher in juveniles than in subadults or adults, but was consistently lower in one zone relative to the other 2 zones. The average clinical prevalence of PaV1 in this bay was statistically similar to the average clinical prevalence reported in Cuba, where casitas are also used, and in Florida Bay, USA, where casitas are not used. To date, PaV1 has had no discernible impact on the lobster fishery in Bahía de la Ascensión, suggesting that clinical prevalence is not influenced by the use of casitas per se.

KEY WORDS: Panulirus argus virus 1 · PaV1 · Artificial shelters · Casitas · Clinical prevalence · Bahía de la Ascensión · Mexico

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Cite this article as: Candia-Zulbarán RI, Briones-Fourzán P, Negrete-Soto F, Barradas Barradas-Ortiz C, Lozano-Álvarez E (2012) Variability in clinical prevalence of PaV1 in Caribbean spiny lobsters occupying commercial casitas over a large bay in Mexico. Dis Aquat Org 100:125-133.

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