Rhabdovirus Disease of American Penaeid Shrimp


Category 3 (Host Not in Canada)

Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent

Rhabdovirus disease of American penaeids, RPS.

Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation

A rhabdovirus that is cytoplasmic and contains ssRNA.

Geographic distribution

Hawaii and Equador. A virus wuth similarities to RPS and YHD but called Lymphoid organ virus (LOV) was reported from Penaeus monodon in Australia (Spann et al. 1995).

Host species

Penaeus vannamei and Penaeus stylirostris.

Impact on the host

RPS did not cause disease in shrimp following massive challenge and it caused no distinctive histopathology (other than changes to the lymphoid organ). RPS may not replicate in shrimp and may use them as a carrier host as it is very similar to certain fish rhabdoviruses in morphology and it replicated in a fish cell line.

Diagnostic techniques

Histology: The lymphoid organs of shrimp challenged with RPS had marked hypertrophy with numerous large hypertrophied nodules that were similar in structure to the "spheroids" in the lymphoid organ of shrimp infected with YHV, LPV, TSV and LOVV.

Electron Microscopy: RPV virons were observed in the cytoplasm of lymphoid organ cells of challenged shrimp that showed histopathology in this organ. This rhabdovirus is bullet-shaped and measures 45 × 160 nm.

Culture: The virus demonstrates cytopahtic effect in EPC (epithelioma papulosum cyprini), a fin fish cell line from carp.

Methods of control

No known method of prevention or control.


Lightner, D.V. (ed.). 1996.

A Handbook of Shrimp Pathology and Diagnostic Procedures for Disease of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp. World Aquaculture Society, Baton Rouge.

Spann, K.M., J.E. Vickers and R.J.G. Lester. 1995. Lymphoid organ virus of Penaeus monodon from Australia. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 23: 127-134.

Citation Information

Bower, S.M. (1996): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Rhabdovirus Disease of American Penaeid Shrimp.

Date last revised: September 1996
Comments to Susan Bower

Date modified: