Project updates‎ > ‎

Causative agent for EMS/AHPNS identified

posted May 2, 2013, 3:40 AM by John Bostock
Global Aquaculture Alliance Press Release:

"After months of investigation by a research team led by Donald Lighter at the University of Arizona, the elusive pathogen causing early mortality syndrome (EMS), an emerging shrimp disease in Southeast Asia more technically known as acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome (AHPNS), has been identified.

The researchers found that EMS is caused by a bacterial agent, which is transmitted orally, colonizes the shrimp gastrointestinal tract and produces a toxin that causes tissue destruction and dysfunction of the shrimp digestive organ known as the hepatopancreas. It does not affect humans.

Lightner’s team identified the EMS/AHPNS pathogen as a unique strain of a relatively common bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, that is infected by a virus known as a phage, which causes it to release a potent toxin. A similar phenomenon occurs in the human disease cholera, where a phage makes the Vibrio cholerae bacterium capable of producing a toxin that causes cholera’s life-threatening diarrhea.

Research continues on the development of diagnostic tests for rapid detection of the EMS/AHPNS pathogen that will enable improved management of hatcheries and ponds, and help lead to a long-term solution for the disease. It will also enable a better evaluation of risks associated with importation of frozen shrimp or other products from countries affected by EMS."


Comments