Novel, closely related, white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) genotypes from Madagascar, Mozambique and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kathy F.J. Tang, Marc Le Groumellec, Donald V. Lightner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is highly pathogenic to penaeid shrimp and has caused significant economic losses in the aquaculture industry around the world. During 2010 to 2012, WSSV caused severe mortalities in cultured penaeid shrimp in Saudi Arabia, Mozambique and Madagascar. To investigate the origins of these WSSV, we performed genotyping analyses at 5 loci: the 3 open reading frames (ORFs) 125, 94 and 75, each containing a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), and deletions in the 2 variable regions, VR14/15 and VR23/24. We categorized the WSSV genotype as {N125, N 94, N75, δX14/15, δX 23/24} where N is the number of repeat units in a specific ORF and δX is the length (base pair) of deletion within the variable region. We detected 4 WSSV genotypes, which were characterized by a full-length deletion in ORF94/95, a relatively small ORF75 and one specific deletion length in each variable region. There are 2 closely related genotypes in these 3 countries: {6125, del94, 375, δ595014/15, δ1097123/24} and {7125, del94, 375, δ595014/15, δ1097123/24}, where del is the full-length ORF deletion. In Saudi Arabia, 2 other related types of WSSV were also found: {6125, 794, 375, δ595014/15, δ1097 123/24} and {8125, 1394, 375, δ595014/15, δ1097123/24}. The identical patterns of 3 loci in these 4 types indicate that they have a common lineage, and this suggests that the WSSV epidemics in these 3 countries were from a common source, possibly the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of aquatic organisms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • VNTR analysis
  • Variable number of tandem repeats
  • Variablelength deletion
  • WSSV genotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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