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Microbiology. 2011 Jan;157(Pt 1):179-88. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.041475-0. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Identification of Vibrio campbellii isolated from diseased farm-shrimps from south India and establishment of its pathogenic potential in an Artemia model.

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka, Japan.


Shrimp diseases are frequently reported to be caused by closely related vibrios, and in many cases they are tentatively but inaccurately identified as Vibrio harveyi and related vibrios. In the present study, 28 biochemically identified V. harveyi-related strains isolated from diseased shrimps were randomly selected for further characterization by molecular tools. Twenty-six strains were identified as Vibrio campbellii and two as V. harveyi by sequence analysis of 16S rRNA and uridylate kinase genes. Haemolysin-gene-based species-specific multiplex PCR also confirmed these results. Experimental challenge studies using Artemia as a model showed that eight isolates were highly pathogenic, three were moderately pathogenic and the remaining 17 were non-pathogenic. Ribotyping with BglI clearly distinguished V. campbellii from V. harveyi, but it failed to separate pathogenic and non-pathogenic clusters. Artemia nauplii challenged with a fluorescently labelled highly pathogenic strain (IPEY54) showed patches in the digestive tract. However, no patches were observed for a non-pathogenic strain (IPEY41). Direct bacterial counts also supported colonization potential for the highly pathogenic strain. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the isolation and accurate identification of large numbers of V. campbellii associated with shrimp disease in aquacultural farms. V. campbellii has long been considered to be non-pathogenic and classified with V. harveyi-related bacteria. However, we show that this species may be an emerging aquaculture pathogen. This study will help to formulate suitable strategies to combat this newly identified pathogen.

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