White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has a worldwide distribution and is considered one of the most pathogenic and devastating viruses to the shrimp industry. A few studies have explored the effect of WSSV on shrimp acclimated to low (5 practical salinity units (psu)) or high (>40 psu) salinity conditions. In this work, we analysed the physiological response of WSSV-infected Litopenaeus vannamei juveniles that were acclimated to different salinities (5, 15, 28, 34 and 54 psu). We evaluated the osmotic response and survival of the shrimp at different times after infection (0 to 48 hours), and we followed the expression levels of a viral gene ( vp664 ) in shrimp haemolymph using real-time PCR. Our results indicate that the susceptibility of the shrimp to the virus increased at extreme salinities (5 and 54 psu), with higher survival rates at 15 and 28 psu, which were closer to the iso-osmotic point (24.7 psu, 727.5 mOsmol/kg). Acute exposure to the virus made the haemolymph less hyperosmotic at 5 and 15 psu and less hypo-osmotic at higher salinities (>28 psu). The capacity of white shrimp to osmoregulate, and thus survive, significantly decreased following WSSV infection. According to our results, extreme salinities (5 or 54 psu) are more harmful than seawater.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2014
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