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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 92:11-19 (2010)  -  DOI:

‘Bright-red’ syndrome in Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei is caused by Vibrio harveyi

Sonia A. Soto-Rodriguez*, Bruno Gomez-Gil, Rodolfo Lozano

CIAD, A.C. Mazatlan Unit for Aquaculture and Environmental Management, Av. Sabalo-Cerritos s/n Mazatlan, Sinaloa 82010, Mexico

ABSTRACT: Since July 2005, recurrent outbreaks of vibriosis have occurred in shrimp farms in northwestern Mexico. Moribund Litopenaeus vannamei associated with mass mortalities were lethargic and displayed red discoloration spots on their abdomen, and hence were called ‘bright-reds’ by farmers. Shrimp submitted for diagnosis were examined using wet tissue mounts, bacteriological assays and their respective minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and histology. A dominant yellow bacterial colony was isolated in thiosulphate citrate bile salts-sucrose (TCBS) agar and identified by molecular methods as Vibrio harveyi strain CAIM 1792. Pathogenicity of the V. harveyi strain was demonstrated in L. vannamei. The lowest MIC against Vibrio isolates from bright-red shrimp was obtained with enrofloxacine (3.01, SD = 5.96 µg ml–1). Histology detected severe necrosis in lymphoid organ tubules, muscle fibers, and connective tissue, as well as melanization and hemocytic nodules associate with microcolonies of Gram-negative bacilli. Bacteria from severely affected shrimp were dispersed from the haemocoel to other tissues causing a systemic vibriosis. The data indicate that V. harveyi strain CAIM 1792 is the cause of bright-red syndrome (BRS) and represents a threat to the Mexican shrimp farming industry.

KEY WORDS: Vibrio harveyi · Litopenaeus vannamei · Bright-red syndrome · rep-PCR · Shrimp culture · Histology

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Cite this article as: Soto-Rodriguez SA, Gomez-Gil B, Lozano R (2010) ‘Bright-red’ syndrome in Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei is caused by Vibrio harveyi. Dis Aquat Org 92:11-19.

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