Detection of a new microsporidium Perezia sp. in shrimps Penaeus monodon and P. indicus by histopathology, in situ hybridization and PCR

Jee Eun Han, Kathy F.J. Tang, Carlos R. Pantoja, Donald V. Lightner, Rita M. Redman, Marc Le Groumellec

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16 Scopus citations


Samples of microsporidia-infected shrimps exhibiting clinical signs of cotton shrimp disease were collected from Madagascar, Mozambique, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2014. The tails of the infected shrimps appeared opaque and whitish; subsequent histological examination revealed the presence of cytoplasmic inclusions and mature spores in tissues of the muscle, hepatopancreas, gills, heart, and lymphoid organ. PCR analysis targeting the small subunit rDNA (SSU rDNA) from infected samples resulted in the amplification of a 1.2 kbp SSU rDNA sequence fragment 94% identical to the corresponding region in the genome of the microsporidian Perezia nelsoni, which infects populations of Penaeus setiferus in the USA. Its SSU rDNA sequence was 100% identical among isolates from Madagascar and Saudi Arabia, indicating that shrimps from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean were infected with the same microsporidium, the novel Perezia sp. A 443 bp fragment of the SSU rDNA sequence was cloned, labeled with digoxigenin and subjected to an in situ hybridization assay with tissue sections of Perezia sp.-infected Penaeus monodon from Madagascar and Mozambique, and P. indicus from Saudi Arabia. The probe hybridized to the mature spores in the hepatopancreas and muscle from which the spores had been obtained for DNA isolation. This assay was specific, showing no reaction to another microsporidium, Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), infecting the hepatopancreas of shrimp P. stylirostris cultured in SE Asian countries. We also developed an SSU rDNA-based PCR assay, specific for the novel Perezia sp. This PCR did not react to EHP, nor to genomic DNA of shrimp and other invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number2
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2016


  • Cotton shrimp disease
  • Hepatopancreas
  • Muscle
  • Perezia nelsoni
  • SSU rDNA


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