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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 43:153-157 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao043153

Use of prawn blood agar hemolysis to screen for bacteria pathogenic to cultured tiger prawns Penaeus monodon

Chin-I Chang, Wen-Yu Liu*, Chung-Zen Shyu

Department of Aquaculture, Taiwan Fisheries Research Institute, 199 Hou-Ih Rd, Keelung 202, Taiwan
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: A newly developed prawn blood agar consisting of 1 ml of tiger prawn hemolymph in medium containing 200 ppm Rose Bengal was used to determine the hemolytic activity of 35 isolates of bacteria obtained from cultured tiger prawns Penaeus monodon and their rearing water. For comparison, the hemolytic activity of these isolates was also determined in sheep blood agar. Nine isolates (25.7% of total) showed different hemolytic reactions on prawn blood agar and sheep blood agar. From the 35 isolates, 8 with various hemolytic characteristics were selected and the relationship between the type of hemolytic activity and pathogenicity was determined and compared. Four isolates that showed hemolytic activity in prawn blood agar caused high mortality to cultured tiger prawns. By contrast, a significantly lower mortality rate was observed for tiger prawns injected with 4 isolates that did not exhibit hemolytic activity on prawn blood agar. Results further showed that mortality did not correlate with hemolytic activity determined using sheep blood agar. Prawn blood agar containing P. monodon hemocytes was faster and more accurate for determining prawn hemolytic activity of bacterial isolates.

KEY WORDS: Prawn blood agar · Hemolytic bacteria · Pathogenicity · Penaeus monodon

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