Genotyping of virulence plasmid from Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolates causing acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in shrimp

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Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) has caused severe mortalities in farmed penaeid shrimp throughout SE Asia and Mexico. The causative agent of AHPND is the marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which secretes PirA- and PirB-like binary toxin that caused deterioration in the hepatopancreas of infected shrimp. The genes responsible for the production of this toxin are located in a large plasmid residing within the bacterial cells. We analyzed the plasmid sequence from the whole genome sequences of AHPND-V. parahaemolyticus isolates and identified 2 regions that exhibit a clear geographical variation: a 4243-bp Tn3-like transposon and a 9-bp small sequence repeat (SSR). The Tn3-like transposon was only found in the isolates from Mexico and 2 unspecified Central American countries, but not in SE Asian isolates from China, Vietnam, and Thailand. We developed PCR methods to characterize AHPND-V. parahaemolyticus isolates as either Mexican-type or SE Asian-type based on the presence of the Tn3- like transposon. The SSR is found within the coding region of a hypothetical protein and has either 4, 5, or 6 repeat units. SSRs with 4 repeat units were found in isolates from Vietnam, China, and Thailand. SSRs with 5 repeat units were found in some Vietnamese isolates, and SSRs with 6 repeat units were only found in the Mexican isolates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2015



  • Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS)
  • Genotying PCR
  • Penaeus vannamei
  • Shrimp disease
  • Small sequence repeat
  • Tn3-like transposon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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