DAO 39:177-182 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao039177

A non-destructive method based on the polymerase chain reaction for detection of hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) of penaeid shrimp

C. R. Pantoja*, D. V. Lightner

The University of Arizona, Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, 1117 E. Lowell St., Bldg. #90, Room 114, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA

ABSTRACT: Current methods to detect hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) infection of penaeid shrimp depend on invasive techniques that require dissecting the organs infected by this virus. However, sacrificing valuable stocks in order to determine their HPV status can be a drawback in the case of breeding programs. A method was developed for HPV detection by applying a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to fecal samples collected from live HPV-infected shrimp Penaeus chinensis. A pair of PCR primers, 1120F/1120R, which amplify a 592 base pair (bp) region from the virus genome, was designed from previously known HPV sequence information (HPV clone HPV8). PCR amplification with these primers generated a product of the expected size directly from the crude feces of HPV-infected shrimp but not from the feces of specific pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp. The HPV origin of the amplified product was validated by means of an in situ hybridization assay where the product of the amplification, labeled with digoxigenin (DIG)-11-dUTP, showed an intense reaction within hepatopancreatic cells displaying characteristic HPV lesions on HPV-infected shrimp. No reaction to this probe was observed when reacted in situ with sections of the hepatopancreas of SPF specimens or to sections of shrimp infected by the infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV), another parvovirus of penaeid shrimp. These primers were tested for specificity against homologous and non-homologous viruses and no product was amplified. A fragment of the expected size was obtained only when purified HPV or purified HPV8 plasmid was used as template DNA. Under optimized conditions, these primers detected as little as 1 fg of purified HPV8 plasmid DNA, equivalent to approximately 300 HPV particles. Analysis of fecal samples by PCR may prove useful for non-lethal screening of valuable shrimp of unknown HPV status. This same strategy also might be used for detection of other enteric viruses that infect penaeid shrimp.

KEY WORDS: Hepatopancreatic parvovirus (HPV) · PCR · Penaeus chinensis

Full text in pdf format