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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 54:43-48 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao054043

Experimental infection of Penaeus vannamei by a rickettsia-like bacterium (RLB) originating from P. monodon

Linda M. Nunan1,*, Brenda Noble1, Marc Le Groumellec2, Donald V. Lightner1

1Department of Veterinary Sciences and Microbiology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85712, USA
2AQUALMA, Aquaculture de la Mahajamba, Mahajanga 401, Madagascar

ABSTRACT: A rickettsia-like bacterium (RLB), which caused severe mortalities of commercially farmed Penaeus monodon in the southwest region of Madagascar, was investigated to determine whether the organism would produce the same disease in P. vannamei. Two series of bioassays were performed to determine whether this RLB could be transmitted to P. vannamei through injection and per os exposure. The first series of challenge bioassays used frozen, RLB-infected P. monodon tissue from Madagascar as the inoculum and feed for the injection, and per os bioassays with specific pathogen free (SPF) P. vannamei. In the second series of bioassays, frozen RLB-infected P. vannamei tissue derived from the first series of injection bioassays was used as the inoculum to challenge by injection and per os SPF P. vannamei. Disease status was determined through standard histological techniques and by in situ hybridization assays with a digoxigenin-labeled probe specific for this RLB. The results indicated that P. vannamei did develop the RLB infection when injected with either RLB infected P. monodon or P. vannamei tissue homogenates. This contrasts with results from the per os exposure to the RLB in which the disease could not be reproduced.

KEY WORDS: Rickettsia · Penaeus monodon · Penaeus vannamei · Shrimp

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