Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Detection of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) in Mexico.

Abstract

Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND), which has also been referred to as early mortality syndrome (EMS), initially emerged as a destructive disease of cultured shrimp species in Asia in 2009. The pathogen associated with the disease, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, subsequently spread to the Western Hemisphere and emerged in Mexico in early 2013. The spread to the Western Hemisphere is a major concern to shrimp producers in the region. To date, the only peer-reviewed published method for determining whether mortalities are due to AHPND is through histological examination. A novel PCR detection method was employed to assess samples from Mexico in order to confirm the presence of the pathogen in this country. This manuscript details the detection methods used to confirm the presence of AHPND in Mexico. Both immersion and per os challenge studies were used to expose the Penaeus vannamei to the bacteria in order to induce the disease. Histological analysis confirmed AHPND status following the challenge studies. Also provided are the details of the molecular test by PCR that was used for screening candidate V. parahaemolyticus isolates. A rapid PCR assay for detection of AHPND may help with early detection and help prevent the spread of AHPND to other countries.