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Dev Comp Immunol. 2014 Feb;42(2):294-301. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.09.017. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Molecular signatures at imminent death: hemocyte gene expression profiling of shrimp succumbing to viral and fungal infections.

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Laboratory of Immunology Applied to Aquaculture, Department of Cell Biology, Embryology and Genetics, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.


Infectious diseases represent the most serious threat to shrimp farming worldwide. Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving shrimp-pathogen interactions is necessary for developing strategies to control disease outbreaks in shrimp production systems. In the current study, we experimentally reproduced mortality events using standardized infections to characterize the hemocyte transcriptome response of the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei succumbing to infectious diseases. By using a high-throughput microfluidic RT-qPCR approach, we identified molecular signatures in shrimp during lethal infections caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) or the filamentous fungus Fusarium solani. We successfully identified gene expression signatures shared by both infections but also pathogen-specific gene responses. Interestingly, whereas lethal WSSV infection induced the expression of antiviral-related genes, the transcript abundance of many antimicrobial effectors was reduced by lethal F. solani infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the immune-gene repertoire of infected shrimp at the brink of death.


Fusarium solani; High-throughput microfluidic RT-qPCR; Host–pathogen interactions; Litopenaeus vannamei; Molecular signature; WSSV

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