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Dis Aquat Organ. 2002 Aug 29;51(2):149-55.

Preliminary study on haemocyte response to white spot syndrome virus infection in black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon.

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Fish Culture and Fisheries Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Science, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has been a major cause of shrimp mortality in aquaculture in the past decade. In contrast to extensive studies on the morphology and genome structure of the virus, little work has been done on the defence reaction of the host after WSSV infection. Therefore, we examined the haemocyte response to experimental WSSV infection in the black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon. Haemolymph sampling and histology showed a significant decline in free, circulating haemocytes after WSSV infection. A combination of in situ hybridisation with a specific DNA probe for WSSV and immuno-histochemistry with a specific antibody against haemocyte granules in tissue sections indicated that haemocytes left the circulation and migrated to tissues where many virus-infected cells were present. However, no subsequent haemocyte response to the virus-infected cells was detected. The number of granular cells decreased in the haematopoietic tissue of infected shrimp. In addition, a fibrous-like immuno-reactive layer appears in the outer stromal matrix of tubule walls in the lymphoid organ of infected shrimp. The role of haemocytes in shrimp defence after viral infection is discussed.

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