Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


yellow head virus



yellow head virus


  • Last modified
  • 25 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • yellow head virus
  • Taxonomic Tree
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • yellow head virus

International Common Names

  • English: yellowhead virus; yellow-head virus

English acronym

  • YHV

Taxonomic Tree

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Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes



Pathogen Characteristics

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Yellow head virus (YHV) is the cause of yellow head disease in penaeid shrimp.

YHV forms enveloped, rod-shaped particles 40-50 nm × 150-180 nm (Chantanachookin et al., 1993; Wongteerasupaya et al., 1995). Envelopes are studded with prominent peplomers projecting approximately 11 nm from the surface. Nucleocapsids appear as rods (diameter 20-30 nm) and possess a helical symmetry with a periodicity of 5-7 nm. Virions comprise three structural proteins (nucleoprotein p20 and envelope glycoproteins gp64 and gp116) and a ~26 kb positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome.

'Infection with yellow head virus' is on the list of diseases notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). For further information on this disease from OIE, see the website:

Host Animals

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Animal nameContextLife stageSystem
Exopalaemon styliferusExperimental settings
Farfantepenaeus aztecus (northern brown shrimp)Experimental settingsAquatic|Adult; Aquatic|Fry; Aquatic|LarvalEnclosed systems/Other enclosed systems; Enclosed systems/Ponds
Farfantepenaeus duorarum (northern pink shrimp)Aquatic|Fry
Fenneropenaeus merguiensis (banana shrimp)Experimental settingsAquatic|All StagesEnclosed systems/Ponds; Enclosed systems/Tanks
Litopenaeus stylirostris (western blue shrimp)Experimental settings
Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp)Experimental settings
Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn)Domesticated host; Wild host

Distribution Maps

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