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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 139:153-160 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03475

Vibrio harveyi virulence gene expression in vitro and in vivo during infection in black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon

Shaheer Peeralil*, Toms C. Joseph, V. Murugadas, P. G. Akhilnath, V. N. Sreejith, K. V. Lalitha

Microbiology Fermentation and Biotechnology Division, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Matsyapuri PO, Cochin 682029, Kerala, India
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Luminescent Vibrio harveyi is common in sea and estuarine waters. It produces several virulence factors and negatively affects larval penaeid shrimp in hatcheries, resulting in severe economic losses to shrimp aquaculture. Although V. harveyi is an important pathogen of shrimp, its pathogenicity mechanisms have yet to be completely elucidated. In the present study, isolates of V. harveyi were isolated and characterized from diseased Penaeus monodon postlarvae from hatcheries in Kerala, India, from September to December 2016. All 23 tested isolates were positive for lipase, phospholipase, caseinase, gelatinase and chitinase activity, and 3 of the isolates (MFB32, MFB71 and MFB68) showed potential for significant biofilm formation. Based on the presence of virulence genes, the isolates of V. harveyi were grouped into 6 genotypes, predominated by vhpA+ flaB+ ser+ vhh1- luxR+ vopD- vcrD+ vscN-. One isolate from each genotype was randomly selected for in vivo virulence experiments, and the LD50 ranged from 1.7 ± 0.5 × 103 to 4.1 ± 0.1 × 105 CFU ml-1. The expression of genes during the infection in postlarvae was high in 2 of the isolates (MFB12 and MFB32), consistent with the result of the challenge test. However, in MFB19, even though all genes tested were present, their expression level was very low and likely contributed to its lack of virulence. Because of the significant variation in gene expression, the presence of virulence genes alone cannot be used as a marker for pathogenicity of V. harveyi.


KEY WORDS: Vibrio harveyi · Penaeus monodon · Luminescent vibriosis · Virulence · Gene expression


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Cite this article as: Peeralil S, Joseph TC, Murugadas V, Akhilnath PG, Sreejith VN, Lalitha KV (2020) Vibrio harveyi virulence gene expression in vitro and in vivo during infection in black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon. Dis Aquat Org 139:153-160. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03475

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