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Diseases of crustaceans

Viral diseases—Spherical baculovirosis

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE spherical baculovirosis

Giant black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) with severe spherical baculovirosis. Note white streak in midgut line, seen through the shell

Source: DV Lightner

Signs of diseases

Important: animals with disease may show one or more of the signs below, but disease may still be present in the absence of any signs.

Disease signs at the farm level
Clinical signs of disease in an infected animal
Gross signs of disease in an infected animal

Disease agent

The causative agent is a Penaeus monodon-type baculovirus.

Host range

Crustaceans known to be susceptible to the virus:
banana prawn* (Penaeus merguiensis)
brown tiger prawn* (Penaeus esculentus)
caramote prawn* (Penaeus kerathurus)
eastern king prawn* (Penaeus plebejus)
giant tiger prawn* (Penaeus monodon) - most susceptible
grooved tiger prawn* (Penaeus semisulcatus)
red endeavour prawn* (Metapenaeus ensis)
redtail prawn* (Penaeus pencillatis)

* naturally susceptible (other species have been shown to be experimentally susceptible)

Presence in Asia–Pacific

Map showing presence in Asia–Pacific

Spherical baculovirus has been officially reported from Australia and Vietnam. However, various strains of Penaeus monodon-type baculovirus are considered enzootic in wild penaeid stocks throughout the Asia–Pacific region.


Differential diagnosis

The differential diagnostic table and the list of similar diseases appearing at the bottom of each disease page refer only to the diseases covered by this field guide. Gross signs observed might well be representative of a wider range of diseases not included here. Therefore, these diagnostic aids should not be read as a guide to a definitive diagnosis, but rather as a tool to help identify the listed diseases that most closely account for the gross signs.

Similar diseases

Baculoviral midgut gland necrosis, tetrahedral baculovirosis

Further images

Sample collection

Because of uncertainty in differentiating diseases using only gross signs, and because some aquatic animal disease agents might pose a risk to humans, you should not try to collect samples unless you have been trained. Instead, you should phone your national hotline number and report your observations. If samples have to be collected, the agency taking the call will advise you on what you need to do. Local or district fisheries/veterinary authorities could advise you on sampling.

Emergency disease hotline

For your national emergency disease hotline number, see Whom to contact if you suspect a disease.

Further reading


The currently accepted procedures for a conclusive diagnosis of spherical baculovirosis are summarised at http://www.oie.int/eng/normes/fmanual/A_00052.htm

These hyperlinks were correct and functioning at the time of publication. spherical baculovirosis spherical baculovirosis

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