White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a virulent disease that disrupts shrimp farm operations throughout the world. While the United States has had only limited outbreaks of WSSV within the past several decades, it is important to ensure that this disease does not infect wild penaeid shrimp populations. In Texas, there is a potential for WSSV to spread to wild penaeid populations in the Gulf of Mexico via infected imported nonnative bait shrimp, imported broodstock, or wild crustacean hosts. Due to these potential threats, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Division monitored WSSV in wild brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus and white shrimp Litopenaeus setiferus from seven major bay systems along the Texas coast during 2019. While no positive samples were detected from the collected shrimp, a power analysis illustrated a potential for low-level WSSV prevalence within Texas shrimp populations that would not be detectable by this monitoring survey. Overall, WSSV does not appear to be a major threat in the Texas region of the Gulf of Mexico, but continual observation and monitoring of wild penaeid shrimp is necessary to protect this resource from future WSSV outbreaks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science