Fusarium sp. (Fungus Disease) of Shrimp and Prawns


Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Fungus disease, Fusariosis, Black gill disease (in Penaeus japonicus).

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Fusarium solani, Fusarium moniliforme and possibly other Fusarium spp. The phycomycetous fungi Atkinsiella dubia and Haliphthoros spp. are rare pathogens of penaeids but they have been associated with gill and cuticular lesions somewhat similar to those caused by Fusarium.

Geographic distribution


Host species

All penaeids and Macobrachium rosenbergii at all stages of development. Also observed in small Pandalus platyceros juveniles under experimental culture conditions. Other marine crustaceans such as lobsters held in culture facilities can also become infected.

Impact on the host

Fusarium infects dead or damaged tissue caused by wounds or other infections resulting in locomotory difficulties due to mycelial growth. High mortality in susceptible populations. Fouling of the gills by these organisms probably results from poor husbandry.

Diagnostic techniques

Wet Mounts: Material from lesions contain canoe-shaped macronidia.

Methods of control

Because these fungi tend to be opportunistic pathogens capable of establishing infection only in shrimp compromized by other infectious agents, exposure to chemical irritants or heavy metals, excessive overcrowding, or poor environmental conditions, disease may be circumvented by adequate husbandry.


Bian, B.Z. and S. Egusa. 1981. Histopathology of black gill disease caused by Fusarium solani (Martius) infection in the Kuruma prawn Penaeus japonicus Bate. Journal of Fish Diseases 4: 195­201.

Burns, C.D., M.E. Berrigan and G.E. Henderson. 1979. Fusarium sp. infections in the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii (De Man). Aquaculture 16: 193-198.

Lightner, D.V. 1988. Fungus (Fusarium) Disease of juvenile and adult penaeid shrimp. In: C.J. Sindermann and D.V. Lightner (eds.). Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Marine Aquaculture. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science 17. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 64-69.

Lightner, D.V. (ed.). 1996. A Handbook of Shrimp Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures for Disease of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge.

Lightner, D.V., D. Moore and D.A. Danald. 1979. A mycotic disease of cultured penaeid shrimp caused by the fungus Fusarium solani. In: D.H. Lewis and J.K. Leong (eds.). Proceedings of the Second Biennial Crustacean Health Workshop. Texas A & M Univ. Publ. No. TAMU­SG­79­114, p. 135-158.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M. (1996): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Fusarium sp. (Fungus Disease) of Shrimp and Prawns.

Date last revised: September 1996
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: