Epidemiological Parameters of White Spot Syndrome Virus Infections in Litopenaeus vannamei and L. setiferus

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Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


An experimental protocol based on a mathematical epidemiology model was developed to study the transmission, virulence, and recovery rates of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV). Two modes of transmission were compared for WSSV in Litopenaeus vannamei. We compared transmission by ingestion of infected cadavers to transmission by cohabitation with infected animals. In addition, we compared the ingestion transmission of WSSV in L. vannamei and in L. setiferus. Finally, we compared the virulence and recovery rates of WSSV in L. vannamei and L. setiferus. The transmission rate of WSSV to L : vannamei by cohabitation was 0.01. The transmission rate by ingestion of infected cadavers was over an order of magnitude larger at 0.46, suggesting that cohabitation is a much less important mode of transmission for WSSV. A statistically significant difference was detected between the estimates of ingestion transmission of L. vannamei (0.46) and those of L. setiferus (0.84), yet no differences in the virulence or recovery rates were detected between hosts. The overall estimated virulence rate was 0.34, and the overall estimated recovery rate from a WSSV infection was 0.007 for both species. According to epidemiological theory the threshold density of hosts necessary for an epidemic to occur is directly related to the virulence and recovery rates and inversely related to the transmission rate. Therefore, the epidemic threshold density may be lower for ingestion transmission than cohabitation transmission and lower for L. setiferus than for L. vannamei. (C) 2001 Academic Press.

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Journal of Invertebrate Pathology





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