Aquaculture International

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1369–1382 | Cite as

Viability of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in shrimp pond sediments with reference to physicochemical properties

  • Satheesh Kumar SEmail author
  • R. Ananda Bharathi
  • J. J. S. Rajan
  • V. Chitra
  • M. Muralidhar
  • S. V. Alavandi


The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), the causative agent of white spot disease (WSD) of shrimp, has emerged as a single most critical pathogen causing severe epizootics, inflicting significant economic loss to the global shrimp aquaculture industry. It can be transmitted vertically from infected broodstock to post-larvae and horizontally by cannibalism, invertebrate carriers, water, and sediment. Shrimp pond sediment represents an important reservoir of WSSV. The viability of WSSV in sediment is the most vital parameter in the transmission of WSD in the freshly stocked ponds. The physicochemical properties of sediment influence the viability and infectivity of WSSV. The objective of this study was to determine the viability of WSSV with reference to the physicochemical properties of pond sediment under farm conditions. The viability of WSSV in sediment samples from three WSSV-affected ponds with different soil types was examined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative PCR, and infectivity studies. The soil characteristics, such as texture, pH, organic carbon (OC), electrical conductivity (EC), and moisture content were examined to unravel their relationship with the viability of WSSV. The WSSV could be detected in these shrimp pond sediments by PCR up to 35 to 52 days. However, it was revealed that the WSSV was infective up to 21 and 32 days in sandy clay loamy soil and 25 days in sandy loamy soil, suggesting the infectivity of WSSV was prolonged in sandy clay loamy soil. Further, the viability of WSSV was found to be dependent on the moisture content of the pond sediment and independent of organic carbon, pH, and electrical conductivity. These observations reinforce the adoption of best management practices (BMPs) like sun-drying of ponds for at least 3–5 weeks between the crops to achieve biosecurity and ensure successful culture.


Sediment physico-chemical characteristics WSSV infectivity WSSV viability PCR Shrimp WSSV 



Authors sincerely thank the shrimp farmers from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for providing the samples for this study.

Author contributions

S.S.K. and R.A.B. collected the samples, carried out the infectivity studies, and analyzed the samples by PCR. J.J.S. carried out the real-time PCR analysis. M.M. planned the relevant environmental parameters of this study. V.C. analyzed the environmental parameters. S.V.A., S.S.K., and J.J.S. wrote the manuscript. All the authors contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the results. S.V.A. conceived, planned, and coordinated the study.

Funding information

The authors are thankful to the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, for the financial support for this research work (BT/PR 12833/AAQ/03/484/2009 dated 29th June 2010).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Institute of Brackishwater AquacultureIndian Council of Agricultural ResearchMRC NagarIndia
  2. 2.National Institute of EpidemiologyIndian Council of Medical ResearchAyapakkamIndia

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