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J Fish Dis. 2015 Nov;38(11):957-66. doi: 10.1111/jfd.12308. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

Characterization of Vibrio parahaemolyticus causing acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in southern Thailand.

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Food Safety and Health Research Unit, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkhla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.
Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus was isolated from shrimp of five farms located in the Pattani and Songkhla provinces of southern Thailand. Using a PCR method targeted to the unique DNA sequences derived from the plasmid (AP2 primers) and the toxin gene (AP3 primers) of V. parahaemolyticus that caused acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND), a total of 33 of 108 isolates were positive. In contrast, all 63 and 66 isolates of clinical and environmental V. parahaemolyticus, respectively, obtained previously from 2008 to 2014 from the same area were negative. This implied that these strains were likely to be the cause of the outbreak of AHPND in this area. Intestinal samples proved to be a better source for the isolation of V. parahaemolyticus AHPND than the hepatopancreas. All isolates were investigated for haemolytic activity, virulence genes, serotypes, genotypes and antibiotic susceptibility. All the AHPND isolates had a unique O antigen, but small variations of the K antigens were detected from different farms. In addition, the DNA profiles of V. parahaemolyticus AHPND isolates were similar, but distinct from those clinical and environmental isolates. It is postulated that the causative agent of AHPND might have originated from one clone and then slightly different serotypes subsequently developed.


Vibrio parahaemolyticus; acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease syndrome; serotype; shrimp; type III secretion system; type VI secretion system

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