In situ hybridization demonstrates that Litopenaeus vannamei, L. stylirostris and Penaeus monodon are susceptible to experimental infection with infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV)

Feng-Jyu Tang-Nelson, Carlos R Pantoja-Morales, Bonnie T. Poulos, Rita M. Redman, Donald V. Lightnere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV) was recently found to be the cause of necrosis in the skeletal muscle of farm-reared Litopenaeus vannamei from northeastern Brazil. Nucleic acid extracted from semi-purified IMN virions showed that this virus contains a 7.5 kb RNA genome. A cDNA library was constructed, and a clone, designated as IMNV-317, was labeled with digoxigenin-11-dUTP and used as a gene probe for in situ hybridization (ISH). This probe specifically detected IMNV in infected tissues. To determine the susceptibility of 3 species of penaeid shrimp (L. vannamei, L. stylirostris, Penaeus monodon) to IMNV infection, juveniles were injected with purified virions and observed for clinical signs of infection and mortality over a 4 wk period. All L. vannamei exhibited typical lesions after 6 d, and lesions were visible in all L. stylirostris by Day 13. The clinical signs of opaque muscle were not seen in P. monodon, due to their highly pigmented exoskeleton precluding visual detection of lesions. Moderate mortality (20%) occurred in infected L. vannamei. No mortalities were observed in either L. stylirostris or P. monodon. Histological examination and ISH indicated that all 3 species are susceptible to IMNV infection. Using ISH, IMNV was detected in tissues including the skeletal muscle, lymphoid organ, hindgut, and phagocytic cells within the hepatopancreas and heart. In all 3 species, skeletal muscle cells produced the strongest ISH reactions. Based on the onset of clinical signs of infection and mortality, L. vannamei appears to be the most susceptible of these 3 species to IMNV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2005



  • IMNV
  • In situ hybridization
  • Infectious myonecrosis virus
  • Penaeid shrimp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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