Occurrence of luminous bacterial disease of Penaeus monodon larvae in the Philippines
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Larval mortalities associated with luminescence have been observed in epizootic proportions in black tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon) hatcheries in Panay Island, Philippines. Luminescent vibrios, identified as Vibrio harveyi and V. splendidus, were isolated from infected larvae but not from uninfected ones. These bacteria were also recovered readily from seawater samples from nearshore areas, the main source of hatchery rearing water. Thus, it is possible that the nearshore seawater is one major source of infection. Pathogenicity tests resulted in significant mortalities of larvae and postlarvae of P. monodon within 48 h of immersion challenge. Scanning electron microscopic observations show that colonization by the bacteria occurred specifically on the feeding apparatus and oral cavity of the larvae, suggesting an oral route of entry for the initiation of infection.