Crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) susceptibility to acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND)

Quinn M. Powers, Luis Fernando Aranguren, Kevin M. Fitzsimmons, Jean E. McLain, Arun K. Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is an OIE-listed enteric disease that has continued to plague the shrimp aquaculture industry since its first discovery in 2009. AHPND is one of the biggest disease threats to the shrimp aquaculture industry along with white spot disease (WSD) which has severely impacted both crayfish and shrimp aquaculture. AHPND is caused by specific marine Vibrio spp. which carry plasmid-borne binary toxins PirAVp and PirBVp. This research investigated if crayfish are susceptible to AHPND-causing Vibrio parahaemolyticus (VpAHPND) to discern the potential risk that AHPND may pose to the crayfish aquaculture industry. Susceptibility was investigated by challenging Cherax quadricarinatus (Australian red claw crayfish) and Penaeus vannamei (Pacific white shrimp) with VpAHPND in a cohabitation immersion bioassay. Upon termination of the bioassay, crayfish survival was significantly higher than shrimp survival (87% vs. 33%). Hepatopancreas dissected from experimentally challenged animals were screened for the binary toxin genes pirAVp and pirBVp by real-time and duplex conventional PCR assays, and also were examined by H&E histology for the detection of characteristic AHPND pathology. Although AHPND toxin genes pirAVp and pirBVp were detected in a subset of crayfish samples, histopathology did not reveal any pathognomonic lesions that are characteristic of AHPND in any crayfish samples examined. These findings suggest that crayfish are likely resistant to AHPND.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107554
JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease
  • Cherax quadricarinatus
  • Cohabitation bioassay
  • Shrimp aquaculture
  • Shrimp pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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