An enzootic nuclear polyhedrosis virus of pink shrimp: ultrastructure, prevalence, and enhancement.

Couch, J.A.
J. Invertebr. Pathol.
A nuclear polyhedrosis virus exists in pink shrimp, Penaeus duorarum, from waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This virus is rod-shaped, 269 nm long, and possesses an outer envelope surrounding its nucleo-capsid. The nucleocapsid is 50 nm in diameter. The virus occurs in nuclei of host hepatopancreatic and midgut cells, and is both free in the nucleus and occluded within pyramidal-shaped polyhedral inclusion bodies (PIBs). Histochemically and ultrastructurally, the shrimp PIBs appear to be ribonucleoprotein and in fine structure bear close resemblance to polyhedral inclusion bodies of Baculovirus species from insects. However, the lattice line-to-line spacing is greater than that usually reported for insect PIBs. Crowding and chemical stress of shrimp in aquaria may enhance and increase the virus infection and prevalence. In limited experiments, shrimp fed heavily infected hepatopancreatic tissues had much higher mortality than controls fed only fish. The virus appears to be enzootic in pink shrimp in nature. Cytopathological changes in infected cells of shrimp appear similar to those in insects infected with certain species of Baculovirus. The name Baculovirus penaei n.sp. is proposed for the shrimp virus.
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