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November 18, 2013

United States

Arizona—PCR Detection of Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND/EMS) Available!!!


Linda Nunan, Assistant Staff Scientist at Dr. Donald Lightner’s shrimp pathology laboratory at the University of Arizona, posted the following information to The Shrimp List, a mailing list for the shrimp farming industry:


“Dear shrimp list people:


I am posting the following for the Office of Technology Transfer at the University of Arizona.  The technology for PCR detection of AHPND is now available.


Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease (AHPND) is causing high mortalities in farm-raised shrimp cultured in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.  Since the disease was first reported in 2009, it now causes annual losses of more than $1 billion.  Faculty at the University of Arizona have found that AHPND is caused by a bacterial agent which colonizes the intestinal tract of shrimp and causes tissue destruction of the shrimp digestive organ known as the hepatopancreas.  The inventors found the AHPNS pathogen is a unique strain of the common marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus.  The unique strain possess an 18 kilo-base pair gene sequence that is only present in the pathogenic isolate, so it can be a target for detection of AHPND using a PCR assay.


Currently, the only method to determine if a shrimp is infected with AHPND causing bacterium is through the use of histology, which is time consuming and expensive.  A rapid PCR test for the detection of this pathogen will be the first on the market and will be beneficial to the shrimp producing industry.  The targeted sequence is also unique; there are no homologous matches to any other sequences in the NCBI database.  With imports of shrimp into USA upwards of 85% of total consumption, quick detection of AHPND could be very valuable to the seafood market.




• Rapid detection of AHPND


• Cost effective without the need for histology


• Able to test much larger quantities of shrimp”


Information: Tod McCauley, Sr. Licensing Manager, Tech Transfer Arizona (phone 1-520-626-7916, email, webpage


Information: Linda Nunan, Assistant Staff Scientist, Department of Veterinary Science and Microbiology, The University of Arizona, Building 90, Room 102,1117 E. Lowell Street, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA (phone 1-520-621-4438, email, webpage


Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: AHPND Detection.  November 18, 2013.

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