How to cite: Phiwsaiya K, Charoensapsri W, Taengphu S, Dong HT, Sangsuriya P, Nguyen GTT, Pham HQ, Amparyup P, Sritunyalucksana K, Taengchaiyaphum S, Chaivisuthangkura P, Longyant S, Sithigorngul P, Senapin S. 2017. A natural Vibrio parahaemolyticus ΔpirAVp pirBVp+ mutant kills shrimp but produces neither PirVp toxins nor acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease lesions. Appl Environ Microbiol 83:e00680-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00680-17.
Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) of shrimp is caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolates (VPAHPND isolates) that harbor a pVA plasmid encoding toxins PirAVp and PirBVp. These are released from VPAHPND isolates that colonize the shrimp stomach and produce pathognomonic AHPND lesions (massive sloughing of hepatopancreatic tubule epithelial cells). PCR results indicated that V. parahaemolyticus isolate XN87 lacked pirAVp but carried pirBVp. Unexpectedly, Western blot analysis of proteins from the culture broth of XN87 revealed the absence of both toxins, and the lack of PirBVp was further confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. However, shrimp immersion challenge with XN87 resulted in 47% mortality without AHPND lesions. Instead, lesions consisted of collapsed hepatopancreatic tubule epithelia. In contrast, control shrimp challenged with typical VPAHPND isolate 5HP gave 90% mortality, accompanied by AHPND lesions. Sequence analysis revealed that the pVA plasmid of XN87 contained a mutated pirAVp gene interrupted by the out-of-frame insertion of a transposon gene fragment. The upstream region and the beginning of the original pirAVp gene remained intact, but the insertion caused a 2-base reading frameshift in the remainder of the pirAVp gene sequence and in the downstream pirBVp gene sequence. Reverse transcription-PCR and sequencing of 5HP revealed a bicistronic pirABVp mRNA transcript that was not produced by XN87, explaining the absence of both toxins in its culture broth. However,
the virulence of XN87 revealed that some V. parahaemolyticus isolates carrying mutant pVA plasmids that produce no PirVp toxins can cause mortality in shrimp in
ponds experiencing an outbreak of early mortality syndrome (EMS) but may not
have been previously recognized to be AHPND related because they did not cause
pathognomonic AHPND lesions.