Larval Mid­cycle Disease (MCD) of Freshwater Shrimp


Category 3 (Host Not in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Larval mid­cycle disease, MCD-like disease syndromes.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

Unknown, but Enterobacter aerogenes has been associated with the disease.

Geographic distribution

Hawaii, Mauritius, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and northern Australia.

Host species

Macrobrachium rosenbergii larval stages IV­XI.

Impact on the host

High larval mortality during the second third of the larval cycle, reduced food consumption, bluish grey in colour, weak spiralling swimming behaviour, possible cannibalism. Atrophy of hepatopancreatic epithelium. Causes death.

Diagnostic techniques

Gross Observations: Greyish colour and possible epibiotic fouling, spiralling behaviour.

Histology: Hepatopancreas atrophy, coccobacilli within the digestive tract.

Methods of control

Brock (1988) recommend that infected stocks be destroyed followed by disinfection of contaminated or potentially contaminated areas and establishment of standard hatchery sanitation procedures (i.e., routine disinfection between larval rearing cycles, separation of rearing tanks, use of individual equipment for each larval rearing unit, etc.). At least one grower believes that MCD is caused by improper diet and/or starvation (for details contact Craig Upstrom, Aquaculture of Texas, Inc., 4141 Fort Worth Hwy., Weatherford, TX, USA, 76987-8610 (e-mail: Accordingly, Tonguthai (1992) proposed that when MCD occurs, condition can be reversed by reducing stocking density, improving pond husbandry and sanitation, and providing adequate nutrition through good quality Artemia. Advanced epizootics are not treatable.


Akita, G., R. Nakamura, J. Brock, G. Miyamoto, M. Fujimoto, F. Oishi and D. Sumikawa. 1981. Epizootiologic study of mid­cycle disease of larval Macrobrachium rosenbergii. Journal of the World Mariculture Society 12: 223­230.

Brock J.A. 1983. Diseases (infectious and non­infectious), metazoan parasites, predators and public health considerations in Macrobrachium culture and fisheries. In: J.P. McVey (ed.). Handbook of Mariculture, Vol.I. Crustacean Aquaculture. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, FL, p. 329-370.

Brock, J.A. 1988. Larval mid cycle disease of M. rosenbergii. In: C.J. Sindermann and D.V. Lightner (eds.). Disease Diagnosis and Control in North American Aquaculture. Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science 17. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 137-139.

Tonguthai, K. 1992. Diseases of the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii in Thailand. In: M. Shariff, R.P. Subasinghe and J.R. Arthur (eds.). Diseases in Asian Aquaculture. I. Fish Health Section, Asian Fisheries Society. Manila, Philippines, p. 89-95.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M. (1998): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Larval Mid­cycle Disease (MCD) of Freshwater Shrimp.

Date last revised: July 1998
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: