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Dis Aquat Organ. 2000 Nov 14;43(2):127-37.

Luminous vibriosis in rock lobster Jasus verreauxi (Decapoda: Palinuridae) phyllosoma larvae associated with infection by Vibrio harveyi.

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National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., Kilbirnie, Wellington, New Zealand.


Studies were conducted to determine the cause of outbreaks of luminous vibriosis in phyllosoma larvae of the packhorse rock lobster Jasus verreauxi reared in an experimental culture facility. On 2 separate occasions mortalities of up to 75% over a period of 4 wk were observed in 4th to 5th and 8th to 10th instar phyllosomas at water temperatures of 20 and 23 degrees C, respectively. Affected larvae became opaque, exhibited small red spots throughout the body and pereiopods, and were faintly luminous when viewed in the dark. Histopathology showed that the gut and hepatopancreas tubules of moribund phyllosomas contained massive bacterial plaques. The hepatopancreas tubules of moribund larvae were atrophic and some contained necrotic cells sloughed into the lumen. Dense, pure cultures of a bacterium identified as Vibrio harveyi were isolated from moribund larvae. The disease syndrome was reproduced by in vivo challenge and V. harveyi was successfully reisolated from diseased larvae after apparently healthy larvae were exposed by immersion to baths of more than 10(4) V. harveyi ml(-1) at 24 degrees C. Injured larvae were more susceptible to infection than were healthy larvae. Survival of larvae experimentally and naturally exposed to V. harveyi was improved when antibiotics were administered via bath exposures.

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