Genetic signature of rapid IHHNV (Infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus) expansion in wild Penaeus shrimp populations

Refugio Robles-Sikisaka, Andrew J. Bohonak, Leroy R. McClenaghan, Arun K. Dhar

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30 Scopus citations


Infectious hypodermal and hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV) is a widely distributed single-stranded DNA parvovirus that has been responsible for major losses in wild and farmed penaeid shrimp populations on the northwestern Pacific coast of Mexico since the early 1990's. IHHNV has been considered a slow-evolving, stable virus because shrimp populations in this region have recovered to pre-epizootic levels, and limited nucleotide variation has been found in a small number of IHHNV isolates studied from this region. To gain insight into IHHNV evolutionary and population dynamics, we analyzed IHHNV capsid protein gene sequences from 89 Penaeus shrimp, along with 14 previously published sequences. Using Bayesian coalescent approaches, we calculated a mean rate of nucleotide substitution for IHHNV that was unexpectedly high (1.39×10-4 substitutions/site/year) and comparable to that reported for RNA viruses. We found more genetic diversity than previously reported for IHHNV isolates and highly significant subdivision among the viral populations in Mexican waters. Past changes in effective number of infections that we infer from Bayesian skyline plots closely correspond to IHHNV epizootiological historical records. Given the high evolutionary rate and the observed regional isolation of IHHNV in shrimp populations in the Gulf of California, we suggest regular monitoring of wild and farmed shrimp and restriction of shrimp movement as preventative measures for future viral outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere11799
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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