Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The white spot syndrome virus hijacks the expression of the Penaeus vannamei Toll signaling pathway to evade host immunity and facilitate its replication.

Abstract

The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), the most lethal pathogen of shrimp, is a dsDNA virus with approximately a 300,000 base pairs and contains approximately 180-500 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), of which only 6% show homology to any known protein from other viruses or organisms. Although most of its ORFs encode enzymes for nucleotide metabolism, DNA replication, and protein modification, the WSSV uses some of its encoded proteins successfully to take control of the metabolism of the host and avoid immune responses. The contribution of the shrimp innate immune response to prevent viral invasions is recognized but yet not fully understood. Thus, the role of several components of Toll pathway of the shrimp Penaeus vannamei against WSSV has been previously described, and the consequential effects occurring through the cascade remain unknown. In the current study the effects of WSSV over various components of the shrimp Toll pathway were studied. The gene expression of Spätzle, Toll, Tube, Cactus and Dorsal was altered after 6-12 h post inoculation. The expression of LvToll3, LvCactus, LvDorsal, decreased ∼4.4-, ∼3.7- and ∼7.3-fold at 48, 24 and 48 hpi, respectively. Furthermore, a remarkable reduction (∼18-fold) in the expression of the gene encoding LvCactus in WSSV infected specimens was observed at 6 hpi. This may be a sophisticated strategy exploited by WSSV to evade the Toll-mediated immune action, and to promote its replication, thereby contributing to viral fitness.