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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 79:183-190 (2008)  -  DOI:

Experimental infections reveal that common Thai crustaceans are potential carriers for spread of exotic Taura syndrome virus

Wansika Kiatpathomchai1,2,*, Wansadaj Jaroenram2, Narong Arunrut1,2, Warachin Gangnonngiw1,2, Visanu Boonyawiwat3, Paisarn Sithigorngul4

1National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), National Science and Technology Development Agency, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand
2Center of Excellence for Shrimp Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (CENTEX Shrimp), Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama 6 Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
3Department of Farm Animal Resource and Production Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University, Kamphaengsaen Campus, Nakhonpathom 73140, Thailand
4Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

ABSTRACT: Taura syndrome virus (TSV) was first reported as a serious cause of shrimp mortality limited to reared Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei in the Americas, where it spread principally through regional and international transfer of live post larvae (PL) and broodstock. Subsequently, through importation of infected broodstock, TSV outbreaks spread to Asia, first to Taiwan and China and then to Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. Since its introduction to Thailand, outbreaks have occasionally been reported from rearing ponds stocked with batches of specific pathogen free (SPF) P. vannamei PL that tested negative for TSV by nested RT-PCR assay. Since it was possible that the outbreaks may have occurred via horizontal transfer of TSV from wild carrier species, we tested 5 common native crustaceans that live in and around shrimp ponds (2 palaemonid shrimp species, Palaemon styliferus and Macrobrachium lanchesteri, and 3 species of crabs, Sesarma mederi, Scylla serrata and Uca vocans) for susceptibility to TSV in experimental challenges. We found that U. vocans, S. serrata and S. mederi did not die but, respectively, gave strong RT-PCR reactions indicating heavy viral load at 5 , 10 and 15 d post-injection of TSV and 10, 15 and up to 50 d after feeding with TSV-infected P. vannamei carcasses. Also after feeding, P. styliferus did not die, but a high proportion gave strong RT-PCR reactions at 5 d post-challenge and no reactions at 15 d. Similarly after feeding, M. lanchesteri showed no mortality and gave only light RT-PCR reactions at 2 d, moderate reactions at 5 d and no reaction at 15 d. By contrast, transmission experiments from the TSV-infected crabs and palaemonid shrimp via water or feeding resulted in death of all the exposed P. vannamei from 8 to 12 d post-challenge and all were positive for heavy viral load by RT-PCR assay. Despite the results of these laboratory challenge tests, natural TSV infections were not detected by nested RT-PCR in samples of these species taken from the wild. These results indicated that transmission of TSV from infected crabs and palaemonid shrimp via water or feeding might pose a potential risk to shrimp aquaculture.

KEY WORDS: TSV · Taura syndrome virus · Penaeus vannamei · Crab · Palaemonid shrimp ·Carrier · RT-PCR

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Cite this article as: Kiatpathomchai W, Jaroenram W, Arunrut N, Gangnonngiw W, Boonyawiwat V, Sithigorngul P (2008) Experimental infections reveal that common Thai crustaceans are potential carriers for spread of exotic Taura syndrome virus. Dis Aquat Org 79:183-190.

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