Vibrio spp. (Vibrio Disease) of Cultured Shrimp
Category 4 (Negligible Regulatory Significance in Canada)
Common, generally accepted names of the organism or disease agent
Vibriosis or bacterial disease, Penaeid bacterial septicemia, Penaeid vibriosis, Luminescent vibriosis, Red-leg disease, "sien dun" in Thai which translates to black splint, Sea gull syndrome or "Sindroma de gaviota" in Latin America.
Scientific name or taxonomic affiliation
Vibrio spp. (i.e., V. harveyi, V. vulnificus, V. anguillarum, V. splendidus, V. alginolyticus, V. nereis, V. parahaemolyticus, V. damsela, V. tubiashi, V. fluvialis). Vibrio penaeicida was described as a pathogen of cultured Penaeus japonicus in Japan. Other Gram negative, oxidase positive bacteria (i.e. Psuedomonas sp., Aeromonas sp. and Flavobacterium sp.) have also been isolated from shrimp with Vibrio sp. infections.
All cultured penaeids and cultured Macrobrachium rosenbergii are susceptible under stressful conditions.
Impact on the host
Anorexia and behavioural changes. Some species and strains of Vibrio cause the shrimp to be luminescent. Mortality ranges from insignificant to 100%, particularly in postlarvae and young juvenile shrimp. There is also concern over the appearance of antibiotic-resistant strains as reported for V. harveyi that caused a mass mortality of cultured Penaeus monodon larvae in India (Karunasagar et al. 1994).
Gross Observations: Vary with the type of infection - black or brown cuticular lesions, opacity of musculature, tough and black branching filaments (up to 2 mm wide) in connective tissue of tail segments, black lymphoid (Oka) organ, melanization of appendage tips.
Wet Mounts: Large numbers of bacteria in the heamolymph.
Histology: Significant necrosis and inflammation especially in the Oka/lymphoid organ and frequently, but usually less severe, in the gills, heart, hepatopancreas and sometimes other tissues. Often there are rod shaped bacteria (usually slightly curved) within the tissues.
Culture: Isolate Vibrio spp. from tissue or haemolymph of moribund samples. The bacteria are not fastidious and will grow on a wide variety of nutrient agar media including the selective media Thiosulfate Citrate Bile Salts Agar (Lightner 1983). Detailed procedures and culture characteristics of several species of Vibrio were described by Lightner (1996).
Methods of control
Maintain adequate water quality with low bacterial biomass, a stable phytoplankton bloom and a proper feeding program. Sterilize or filter recirculated water. Routinely monitor shrimp and pond for early diagnosis of a problem. Avoid temperature extremes or rapid variation in temperature, handling, overcrowding, and other stressors. Infections opportunistic and probably result from poor husbandry; may be secondary to other disease processes. In Thailand (and probably at other locations) the incidence of antibiotic resistance in the isolated strains was high.
Brock, J.A. and D.V. Lightner. 1990. Diseases of Crustacea. Diseases caused by microorganisms. In: O. Kinne (ed.). Diseases of Marine Animals. Volume III: Introduction, Cephalopoda, Annelida, Crustacea, Chaetognatha, Echinodermata, Urochordata. Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Hamburg, p. 309-318.
Chen, D. 1992. An overview of the disease situation, diagnostic techniques, treatments and preventives used on shrimp farms in China. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 47-55.
Chen, S.N., S.L. Huang and G.H. Kou. 1992. Studies on the epizootiology and pathogenicity of bacterial infections in cultured giant tiger prawns, Penaeus monodon, in Taiwan. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 195-205.
Flegel, T.W., D.F. Fegan, S. Kongsom, S. Vuthikomudomkit, S. Sriurairatana, S. Boonyaratpalin, C. Chantanachookhin, J.E. Vickers and O.D. Macdonald. 1992. Occurrence, diagnosis and treatment of shrimp diseases in Thailand. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 57-112.
Karunasagar, I., R. Pai, G.R. Malathi and I. Karunasagar. 1994. Mass mortality of Penaeus monodon larvae due to antibiotic-resistant Vibrio haeveyi infection. Aquaculture 128: 203-209.
Lightner, D.V. 1983. Diseases of cultured penaeid shrimp. In: J.P. McVey (ed.). Handbook of Mariculture. Crustacean Aquaculture. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, FL, p. 289-320.
Lightner, D.V. 1988. Vibrio disease of 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. 42-47.
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., T.A. Bell, R.M. Redman, L.L. Mohney, J.M. Natividad, A. Rukyani and A. Poernomo. 1992. A review of some major diseases of economic significance in penaeid prawns/shrimp of the Americas and Indopacific. 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. 57-80.
Nash, G., C. Nithimathachoke, C. Tungmandi, A. Arkarjamorn, P. Prathanpipat and P. Ruamthaveesub. 1992. Vibriosis and its control in pond-reared Penaeus monodon 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. 143-155.
Shariff, M. and R.P. Subasinghe. 1992. Major diseases of cultured shrimp in Asia: an overview. In: W. Fulks and K.L. Main (eds.). Diseases of Cultured Penaeid Shrimp in Asia and the United States. The Oceanic Institute, Honolulu, p. 37-46.
Sparks, A.K. 1981. Bacterial diseases of invertebrates other than insects. In: E.W. Davidson (ed.). Pathogenesis of Invertebrate Microbial Diseases. Allandeld. Osmun Publishers, Totowa, NJ, p. 323-363.
Bower, S.M. (1997): Synopsis of Infectious Diseases and Parasites of Commercially Exploited Shellfish: Vibrio spp. (Vibrio Disease) of Cultured Shrimp.
Date last revised: December 1997
Comments to Susan Bower
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