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Volume 44 - Number 1 - 2009


A review of pathogenesis and molecular strategies against white spot syndrome virus of penaeid shrimp

Martin I. Bustillo-Ruiz1, César M. Escobedo-Bonilla2,3 and Rogerio R. Sotelo-Mundo1


1Laboratorio de Biología Molecular de Organismos Acuáticos, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. Carretera a Ejido La Victoria Km 0.6, Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000 México

2Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Unidad Hermosillo. Centenario Norte #53, Col. Centenario. Hermosillo Sonora, 83160 México

3Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Unidad Sinaloa. Blvd. Juan de Dios Bátiz Paredes #250, Col. San Joachin, Guasave, Sinaloa, 81101 México




White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) causes high mortality to farmed shrimp and serious economic losses. Its unique sequence and genome structure has placed WSSV in its own new family Nimaviridae. Recently, high performance molecular techniques have made it possible to identify and characterize several WSSV structural proteins. These include `shotgun' sequencing and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ). Such techniques have made it possible to characterize 14 new WSSV proteins. Location and characterization of structural proteins can help to understand WSSV morphogenesis and pathogenesis. Both processes are essential to understand the mechanism of infection and to develop novel control methods. At present no effective treatments exist to fight WSSV in the field. WSSV structural proteins such as VP28 and VP19 have been evaluated to reduce the impact of WSSV. These molecules are essential early in the infection. Neutralization assays using specific antibodies against WSSV structural proteins have shown an increased survival of treated shrimp. Recently, RNA interference (RNAi) constructs directed against structural proteins have been used as a new tool to reduce/inhibit WSSV replication. A better comprehension of the host-pathogen interaction would allow the development of new methods to control WSSV. The use of high throughput techniques to determine the location and function of structural proteins will contribute to develop new strategies against infection. Intervention strategies aimed to block virus entry into the host cells may be a valuable output from these studies


Key words: WSSV, structural proteins, shotgun sequencing, iTRAQ, infection mechanism, control methods



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