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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 132:241-247 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03330

First report of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) occurring in the USA

Arun K. Dhar1,*, Patharapol Piamsomboon1,3, Luis Fernando Aranguren Caro1, Siddhartha Kanrar1, Robert Adami Jr.2, Ya-Sheng Juan2

1Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
2Coastal Fisheries Division, CCA Marine Development Center, Texas Park & Wildlife Department, Corpus Christie, Texas 78418, USA
3Present address: Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In June 2017, mass mortalities were reported at whiteleg shrimp Penaeus vannamei farms in Texas, USA. PCR testing for OIE-listed and non-listed pathogens detected the pirA and pirB toxin genes associated with acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND). DNA sequence analyses of cloned pirA and pirB genes showed them to be identical to those detected in other AHPND-causing Vibrio sp. Amplicons generated using PCR tests targeted to the toxR gene showed the Pir toxin genes to be associated with a V. parahaemolyticus type more similar to a genotype found in Mexico compared to that found in Asia. Histology detected masses of bacteria and hemocytic infiltrations as well as extensive necrosis and sloughing of epithelial cells in hepatopancreatic tubules pathognomonic of AHPND. The data support AHPND as the cause of the mortalities. Given that US companies produce shrimp broodstock for farms in Asia and Latin America, the further spread of AHPND in the USA needs to be prevented to avoid serious economic consequences to these industries.


KEY WORDS: Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease · AHPND · Early mortality syndrome · EMS · Penaeus vannamei · Shrimp aquaculture


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Cite this article as: Dhar AK, Piamsomboon P, Aranguren Caro LF, Kanrar S, Adami R Jr, Juan YS (2019) First report of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) occurring in the USA. Dis Aquat Org 132:241-247. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03330

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