Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (VP AHPND), a chronic disease in shrimp Penaeus vannamei population raised in latin America

Luis Fernando Aranguren Caro, Hung N. Mai, Brenda Noble, Arun K. Dhar

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28 Scopus citations


In Latin American shrimp farming, acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) does not cause the acute mortalities observed in SE Asia. Herein we report for the first time a new phase of infection of AHPND, a chronic phase based on two experimental AHPND-challenge trials using shrimp lines from Latin America. Three shrimp lines of Penaeus vannamei were challenged with a highly pathogenic strain of Vibrio parahaemolyticus causing AHPND (VPAHPND). PCR and histopathology assays were used for confirmation of AHPND in the trials. The first study was to compare survival between the lines. A follow-up trial was conducted to document hepatopancreas heterotrophic bacterial count and to measure the expression of VPAHPND binary toxin genes (pirAB genes) at 24 h.p.i. One of the Latin American shrimp lines, APE1, had significantly higher survival than recorded for the other two lines (APE2 & APE3) and the specific-pathogen-free positive control line. Histopathology showed typical AHPND acute and terminal phase lesions in VP AHPND challenged groups, although destructive cellular changes were more pronounced in the SPF line. Histopathology of animals surviving AHPND revealed a unique chronic phase of infection that resembles septic hepatopancreatic necrosis (SHPN), recognized as diagnostic of digestive tract vibriosis. Data to support our finding, including a quantitative RT-PCR assay, confirmed the expression of pirAB genes and the differential hepatopancreas heterotrophic plate count (HPC) among the different lines challenged. The results explain in part why the shrimp industry in some Latin American countries continues to grow despite the presence of AHPND. In addition, the biology and pathology of AHPND resistant/tolerant shrimp appear to be quite unique in this Latin American shrimp population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107424
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Genetic selection
  • Histopathology
  • Penaeus vannamei
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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