Risk of spread of penaeid shrimp viruses in the Americas by the international movement of live and frozen shrimp

D. V. Lightner, R. M. Redman, B. T. Poulos, L. M. Nunan, J. L. Mari, K. W. Hasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Within the past decade, viral diseases have emerged as serious economic impediments to successful shrimp farming in many of the shrimp-farming countries of the world. In the western hemisphere, the viral agents of Taura syndrome (TS) and infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis have caused serious disease epizootics throughout the shrimp-growing regions of the Americas and Hawaii, while in Asia the viral agents of white spot syndrome (WSS) and yellow head (YH) have caused pandemics with catastrophic losses. The international transfer of live shrimp for aquaculture purposes is an obvious mechanism by which the viruses have spread within and between regions in which they have occurred. Shrimp-eating gulls, other seabirds and aquatic insects may also be factors in the spread of shrimp viruses between and within regions. Another potentially important mechanism for the international spread of these pathogens is the trade in frozen commodity shrimp, which may contain viruses exotic to the importing countries. The viral agents of WSS, YH and TS have been found, and demonstrated to be infectious, in frozen shrimp imported into the United States market. Mechanisms identified for the potential transfer of virus in imported frozen products to domestic populations of cultured or wild penaeid shrimp stocks include: the release of untreated liquid or solid wastes from shrimp importing and processing plants directly into coastal waters, improper disposal of solid waste from shrimp importing and processing plants in landfills so that the waste is accessible to gulls and other seabirds, and the use of imported shrimp as bait by sports fishermen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-160
Number of pages15
JournalOIE Revue Scientifique et Technique
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Americas
  • Aquaculture
  • Diagnosis
  • Infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis
  • Penaeid shrimp
  • Taura syndrome
  • Viral diseases
  • White spot syndrome
  • Yellow head syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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