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Disease Occurrence in Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp Culture Systems in Different International Journal of
Geographical Regions of India Aquaculture
• Volume 4
B. Gunalan1 , P. Soundarapandian1 , T. Anand2 , Anil S. Kotiya3 , Nina Tabitha Simon1

1. Center of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Sciences, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, Tamilnadu,
2. Institute of Fisheries Technology,Taminlnadu Fisheries University, Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu, India
3. Fisheries Research Station, J.A.U. Okha, Gujarat, India
Author Correspondence author
International Journal of Aquaculture, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 4 doi: 10.5376/ija.2014.04.0004
Received: 04 Dec., 2013 Accepted: 05 Jan., 2014 Published: 10 Feb., 2014

© 2014 BioPublisher Publishing Platform

This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Preferred citation for this article:

Gunalan et al., 2014, Disease Occurrence in Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp Culture Systems in Different Geographical
Regions of India, International Journal of Aquaculture, Vol.4, No.04: 24-28 (doi: 10.5376/ija.2014.04.0004)
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Abstract . PDF(252KB)
The knowledge about disease is very much essential to keep the animal in disease free environment. In the present study six
diseases were reported in the culture ponds of L. vannamei including Black gill disease - Andrapradesh, IHHNV -
. Online fPDF
Andrapradesh and Orissa, WMD -Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh, White gut disease - Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh, Muscle
Associated material
cramp disease - Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh. The symptoms of each disease and their possible cure were also described in
. Readers' comments
details.The outbreak of disease in shrimp culture definitely affects the profit in farmer’s point of view and deteriorating the
Other articles by authors
flesh quality in consumer’s point of view. Many diseases are already reported in P. monodon in India. However no such
diseases are reported in L. vannamei in India. So study on diseases is very important to create awareness among farmers to . B. Gunalan
prevent the diseases. Prevention is better than cure. It’s very important, the farmers should stock healthy disease free . P. Soundarapandian
seeds, optimum stocking density and maintain good water quality and provide nutritious feed to get higher survival and . T. Anand
growth. . Anil S. Kotiya
. Nina Tabitha Simon
Keywords Related articles
Litopenaeus vannamei; Black gill disease; White gut disease; IHHNV; Muscle cramp syndrome; White muscle disease; White . Litopenaeus vannamei
leg shrimp disease; Shrimp culture . Black gill disease
. White gut disease
Introduction . IHHNV
Shrimp farming is a multi-billion dollar industry contributing a major income to several countries in Asia and South America. . Muscle cramp syndrome
The rapid growth of shrimp farming led to an economic boom but, unfortunately, the outbreak of viral diseases has increased . White muscle disease
the economic risks and slowed the industry development (Flegel, 2006). The most important diseases of cultured penaeid . White leg shrimp disease
shrimp, in terms of economic impact, in Asia, the Indo-Pacific, and the Americas have infectious etiologies. Among the
infectious diseases of cultured shrimp, certain virus-caused diseases stand out as the most significant. The pandemics due to . Shrimp culture
the penaeid viruses WSSV (White spot) and TSV (Taura Syndrome), and to a lesser extent to IHHNV (Infectious Hypodermal Tools
and Hematopoietic Necrosis virus) and YHV (Yellow Head), have cost the penaeid shrimp industry billions of dollars in lost . Email to a friend
crops, jobs and export revenue. The social and economic impacts of the pandemics caused by these pathogens have been . Post a comment
profound in countries in which shrimp farming constitutes a significant industry. In the present study some of the common
disease in L. vannamei was recorded all along the state of Andrapradesh, Orissa and Tamilnadu and described in detail.

1 Material and Methods

During the study period (Jan 2011 to July 2012) diseased L. vannamei were collected from different shrimp farms located in
the state of Andrapradesh, Orissa and Tamilnadu. Whole shrimps were immediately immersed in 95% ethanol in plastic
containers. Samples were maintained at 4℃ until processing.

2 Results and Discussion

2.1 Black gill disease
In the present study black gill disease observed at shrimp farms in Andrapradesh. The black gills disease is very common in
penaeid shrimps. It often occurs when there is too much plankton in the water or too much mud on the pond bottom. It is
especially a problem in ponds with high population density (over 60 shrimp/m2), not enough aeration or when the water is
not changed frequently enough or irregular probiotic application. Before the shrimp appear diseased or start to die its gills
turn black.

Black gill disease is reasonably easy to cure. If farmer noticed dark-colored gills in some shrimp it is suggested to change the
water more often and also provide more aerators. This will usually solve the problem quickly. Addition of lime according to
the pH concentration is also recommended. Similar disease was already reported by Lightner and Redman (1998),
MPEDA/NACA (2003), Doughtie and Rao (1983) and Johnson (1995) (Figure 1, 2). 1/4
2/3/2018 Disease Occurrence in Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp Culture Systems in Different Geographical Regions of India | Gunalan 1 | International Jou…

Figure 1 Black gill disease

Figure 2 Black gill disease observed during sampling

2.2 IHHNV (Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus)

In the present study IHHNV (Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus) disease observed at shrimp farms in
Andrapradesh and Orissa. IHHNV is very common in grow out ponds, especially when the postlarvae brought from
broodstock that were raised in earthen ponds in Thailand. The white leg shrimps with IHHNV are easy to observe because
they display a typical clinical signs of a deformed or stunted rostrum (Figure 3). It might be bent to one side and the body of
the shrimp might be crooked. These clinical signs will be apparent after the shrimp have been in growing out pond for 30

Figure 3 IHHNV (Infectious Hypodermal and Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus) affected shrimps

In general the deformed shrimp will be seen in only 10-20% of the shrimp population, but if it is very severe, 70-80% will be
affected. The diseased shrimp will grow slowly and will have a low survival rate, so the overall yield will be lower. However,
the diseased shrimp will not usually die, they will just be weakened. The occurrence of IHHNV is likely to rise in the future as
more farmers use post larvae produced from brood stock from local shrimp farms than imported ones. Outbreaks of IHHNV
can occur at any time of the year. The main risk factor is the source of the shrimp larvae. It is very unlikely that larvae
produced from specific pathogen-free parents will get IHHNV.

The virus which causes infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis infects many species of shrimps including P.
monodon, P. japonicus, P. stylirostris, P. vannamei, P. semisulcatus, P. occidentalis and P. californiensis. IHHN has reported
in central and South America, India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, French
Polynesia, New Caledonia and Israel (Bondad-Reantaso et al., 2001). The disease IHHN, and later its causative agent,
IHHNV, was first described as the cause of acute epizootics and mass mortalities (> 90%) in juvenile and subadult of L.
stylirostris farmed in super-intensive raceway systems in Hawaii (Brock et al., 1983; Lightner et al., 1983, 1983a; Brock and
Lightner, 1990). Shortly after its discovery in L. stylirostris, the virus was found in L. vannamei being cultured at the same
facility in Hawaii and these L. vannamei were shown to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus (Lightner et al., 1983a; Bell
and Lightner, 1984). Hence, the economic and production impacts of IHHNV infection in L. vannamei are due to reduced and
irregular growth and small sized shrimp at harvest and not to elevated mortality. To mitigate this effect, several strategies
have been used. With one strategy, selected lines of L. stylirostris, which were not only resistant to IHHN disease, but are
also refractory to infection, were developed (Dhar et al., 2001). IHHNV-free lines of L. vannamei were also developed as SPF
(specific pathogen-free) lines and these stocks were the first developed in the SPF stock development program (Pruder et al.,

2.3 White muscle disease

In the present study WMD (White muscle disease) was observed at shrimp farms in Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh. The
epizootic of WMD was first recorded in November 2001 in few hatchery reared PL of M. rosenbergii in Andrapradesh and
Tamilnadu states. More than 18 cases of WMD in freshwater prawn hatcheries with PL mortalities ranging from 30% to 100%
were recorded from November 2001 to December 2002. The first sign related to this disease was the poor feeding (mineral
deficiency in water, poor quality feed) and lethargy of the prawns especially during the first 5 days of PL settlement resulting
in slow mortality (Figure 4 & 5).

Figure 4 White muscle disease in bigger size L. vannamei

Figure 5 White muscle disease in small size of L. vannamei

As the morphological and clinical signs of the disease reported by Chen et al. (2001) were similar to the WMD recorded in
this study. It is likely that the involvement of the Gram-positive cocci, Lactococcus garvieae in WMDfound by those workers
could possibly have been a secondary infection. The disease progressively destroyed the abdominal muscular organization of
the prawns especially the striated muscles finally leading to mortality. Several authors reported white muscle disease in 2/4
2/3/2018 Disease Occurrence in Litopenaeus vannamei Shrimp Culture Systems in Different Geographical Regions of India | Gunalan 1 | International Jou…
shrimps and prawns (Chen et al., 1992; Sudhakaran et al, 2006; Ravi et al., 2009). Besides the above, this white muscle
disease also recorded in L. vannamei in the present study.

2.4 White gut disease (WGD)

In the present study white gut disease observed in L. vannamei shrimp farms from Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh. Vibriosis is
one of the major disease problems in shellfish and finfish aquaculture. Vibriosis is a bacterial disease responsible for
mortality of cultured shrimp worldwide (Lightner and Lewis, 1975; Adams, 1991; Lightner et al., 1992; Lavilla-Pitogo et al.,
1996; Lavilla-Pitogo et al., 1998; Chen et al., 2000). Vibrio species are widely distributed in culture facilities throughout the
world. Vibrio-related infections frequently occur in hatcheries, but epizootics also commonly occur in pond reared shrimp
species. Vibriosis is caused by gram-negative bacteria in the family Vibrionaceae. Outbreaks may occur when environmental
factors trigger the rapid multiplication of bacteria already tolerated at low levels within shrimp blood (Sizemore and Davis,
1985), or by bacterial penetration of host barriers. The exoskeleton provides an effective physical barrier to pathogens trying
to penetrate the external surface of crustaceans, as well as the foregut and hindgut (Figure6A & B).

Figure 6 A & B White gut disease in L. vannamei

The occurrence of five types of diseases: tail necrosis, shell disease, red disease, loose shell syndrome (LSS) and white gut
disease (WGD) is by Vibrio spp. in P. monodon from culture ponds of coastal Andhra Pradesh (Jayasree et al., 2006). Among
these, LSS, WGD, and red disease caused mass mortalities in shrimp culture ponds. Six species of Vibrio—V. harveyi, V.
parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus, V. anguillarum, V. vulnificus and V. splendidus—are associated with the diseased shrimp.
The distribution and species composition of luminous bacteria in commercial penaeid shrimp hatcheries were studied by
Jawahar Abraham and Palaniappan (2004). Theobservation on the presence of V. harveyi (97.30%) and V. orientalis
(2.70%) in shrimp gut contents evinced that the primary source of these bacteria in a shrimp hatchery was the faecal matter
from brood stock, possibly at the time of spawning. Mortalities due to vibriosis occur when shrimps are stressed by factors
such as: poor water quality, crowding, high water temperature, low DO and low water exchange (Lewis, 1973; Lightner and
Lewis, 1975; Brock and Lightner, 1990).

2.5 Muscle cramp syndrome (MCS)

In the present study muscle cramp disease observed in L. vannamei shrimp farms of Tamilnadu and Andrapradesh. The
temperature fluctuations affect the muscle of the shrimps. Muscle cramp disease is very common in grow out ponds (Figure

Figure 7 Muscle cramp syndrome

It is attributed that less amount of dissolved oxygen leads to mass mortality in ponds (Figure 8).This is very common in high
stocking ponds. Once dissolved O2 level was reduced leading to create stress among the shrimps, finally they will die
especially inside and sides of the culture ponds.

Figure 8 Mass mortality in the check tray due to dissolved oxygen depletion

The six diseases mentioned above are serious problems for raising white leg shrimp in intensive culture systems. The
farmers should have basic knowledge about these diseases and their prevention. If the farmers stock health disease free
seed and maintain good water quality and provide nutritious feed to get higher survival.

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