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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 141:71-78 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03522

Evidences supporting Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei association with white feces syndrome in farmed Penaeus vannamei in Venezuela and Indonesia

Luis Fernando Aranguren Caro1,*, Hung N. Mai1, Orlando Pichardo2, Roberto Cruz-Flores1, Bambang Hanggono3, Arun K. Dhar1

1Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, The University of Arizona, 1117 E Lowell St., Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
2Escuela de Ciencias Aplicadas del Mar (ECAM), Universidad del Oriente (UDO-NE), Boca del Rio, Nueva Esparta 6304, Venezuela
3Fish Health and Environmental Laboratory Brackishwater Aquaculture Development Center Situbondo PO Box 5, Panarukan, Situbondo, Jawa Timur 68351, Indonesia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: White feces syndrome (WFS) is an emerging and poorly described disease characterized by the presence of floating white fecal strings in shrimp (Penaeus monodon and P. vannamei) grow-out ponds. WFS has been associated with several pathogens, including Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei. This association is based on the fact that in areas where E. hepatopenaei has been reported, there was also a high WFS prevalence. E. hepatopenaei is an emerging pathogen that has affected cultured shrimp in Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Thailand, and India. In 2016, we reported the presence of E. hepatopenaei in farmed P. vannamei in Venezuela. In this study, we describe the first case of WFS in Venezuela associated with E. hepatopenaei. The white fecal strings and shrimp displaying white feces along the gastrointestinal tract observed in this study were similar to the gross signs found in WFS-impacted P. vannamei in SE Asian countries. Furthermore, we describe a strong association between WFS and E. hepatopenaei in the samples obtained from Venezuela and Indonesia. Quantification of E. hepatopenaei in WFS-affected ponds, ponds with a history of WFS, and ponds with no WFS showed that E. hepatopenaei loads were significantly higher in WFS-affected ponds. Furthermore, these findings constitute the first report of WFS being associated with E. hepatopenaei in farmed shrimp in Latin America. Additionally, we propose that the gross signs of WFS such as floating whitish fecal strings can be used as an indicator of the presence of E. hepatopenaei in countries where E. hepatopenaei is endemic.


KEY WORDS: Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei · EHP · Shrimp disease · Aquaculture · White feces syndrome · WFS


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Cite this article as: Aranguren Caro LF, Mai HN, Pichardo O, Cruz-Flores R, Hanggono B, Dhar AK (2020) Evidences supporting Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei association with white feces syndrome in farmed Penaeus vannamei in Venezuela and Indonesia. Dis Aquat Org 141:71-78. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03522

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