There are five different viruses which are currently being studied for their impact on commercial farming of the black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) in Thailand. Some of these viruses cause disease in other penaeid shrimp species and even other crustacean species. Some occur not only in cultivated shrimp in other Asian countries, but also in those from Australia and the western hemisphere. In descending order from greatest to least economic impact on the Thai shrimp industry, the five viruses are: white-spot baculovirus, yellow-head virus, hepatopancreatic parvo-like virus, infectious hypodermal and hematopoeitic necrosis virus and monodon baculovirus. The purpose of this review is to summarize recent work on these viruses and to suggest future directions of research that may be useful in the effort to develop a sustainable shrimp industry.