First detection of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in the mud shrimp Austinogebia edulis in Taiwan.
The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) causes mass mortalities in the aquaculture of shrimps worldwide. The mud shrimp Austinogebia edulis (Ngoc-Ho & Chan, 1992) is an economically important sea food item occurring along the west coast of Taiwan. While the population of A. edulis began to decrease with some fluctuations in the last decade, the current study aims to discover the causes for such sporadic population decline. This study explores the effects of microbial pathogens and innate immunity on the populations of A. edulis. Here, we report firstly about WSSV infection of A. edulis from the coastal zone of western Taiwan which is one of the possible causes of population decrease of A. edulis in Shengang. However, WSSV infection is not the only reason for its population decrease because a similar infection rate of WSSV was found in Wangong. Population changes may be related to both environmental pollution stress and WSSV. Both factors likely caused a massive reduction of hemocytes and an abnormal increase of phenoloxidase and superoxide dismutase activity, which were spectrophotometrically measured. Since there is no effective way to treat WSSV infection, improving the coastal environment appears the most effective way to increase the population size of feral shrimps.