The effect of salinity on enterocytozoon hepatopenaei infection in Penaeus vannamei under experimental conditions

L. F. Aranguren Caro, F. Alghamdi, K. De Belder, J. Lin, H. N. Mai, J. Millabas, Y. Alrehaili, A. Alazwari, S. Algetham, A. K. Dhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP) is an enteric pathogen that affects Penaeus vannamei and Penaeus monodon shrimp in many SE Asian countries. In the western hemisphere, EHP was reported for the first time in 2016 in farmed P. vannamei in Venezuela. Anecdotal evidence suggests that EHP is more prevalent in grow-out ponds where the salinity is high (> 15 parts per thousand (ppt)) compared to grow-out ponds with low salinities (< 5 ppt). Considering that P. vannamei is an euryhaline species, we were interested in knowing if EHP can propagate in P. vannamei in low salinities. Results: In this study, we described an experimental infection using fecal strings as a source inoculum. Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) P. vannamei were maintained at three different salinities (2 ppt, 15 ppt, and 30 ppt) while continuously challenged using feces from known EHP-infected P. vannamei over a period of 3 weeks. The fecal strings, used as a source of EHP inocula in the challenges, was sufficient to elicit an infection in shrimp maintained at the three salinities. The infectivity of EHP in shrimp reared at 2 ppt, 15 ppt, and 30 ppt salinities was confirmed by PCR and histopathology. The prevalence and the severity of the EHP infection was higher at 30 ppt than at 2 ppt and 15 ppt. Conclusion: The data suggests that fecal strings are a reliable source of EHP inoculum to conduct experimental challenges via the fecal-oral route. An EHP infection can occur at a salinity as low as 2 ppt, however, the prevalence and the severity of the EHP infection is higher at a salinity of 30 ppt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • EHP
  • Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei
  • Penaeus vannamei
  • Salinity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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