Date Published: April 24, 2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Author(s): Peter De Schryver, Tom Defoirdt, Patrick Sorgeloos, Glenn F. Rall.
A recent disease of farmed Penaeid shrimp, commonly referred to as “early mortality syndrome” (EMS) or more technically known as “acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease” (AHPND), was first reported in southern China in 2010 and subsequently in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia . The EMS/AHPND disease typically affects shrimp postlarvae within 20–30 days after stocking and frequently causes up to 100% mortality. The Global Aquaculture Alliance  has estimated that losses to the Asian shrimp culture sector amount to USD 1 billion. The causative agent of EMS/AHPND has been reported to be a bacterium—more specifically a pathogenic Vibrio belonging to the Harveyi clade, presumably Vibrio parahaemolyticus. So far, this has been the only description of a bacterial isolate capable of causing EMS/AHPND. Strategies to remedy this disease are urgently needed. However, as long as it remains unclear whether or not all incidences of EMS/AHPND are caused by one or more specific V. parahaemolyticus strains, approaches that focus on controlling the presence or activity of vibrios in general have the highest chance of decreasing the risk of EMS/AHPND outbreaks.