White Spot Syndrome In Shrimp

White spot syndrome or white spot disease in shrimp is a viral disease that can affect shrimp. The disease is caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), and it affects shrimp in coastal areas.

The virus causes white spots on the body of the shrimp, and it can massively kill the shrimp. Outbreaks of WSSV have caused catastrophic losses in the shrimp farming industry worldwide.

There is no cure for white spot syndrome, but there are treatments available to help the shrimp survive.

White Spot Syndrome Picture
Image credits: BioAqua.vn

History & Origin of White Spot Syndrome Virus

The disease white spot syndrome (WSS) has been reported in shrimp across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. It is caused by a virus and affects shrimp throughout their lifecycle.

The virus causes lesions on the shrimp’s skin and can kill them if left untreated.

There are currently no vaccines or treatments available for WSS. Researchers are working to develop a vaccine and find ways to prevent the virus from spreading.

What Causes White Spot Syndrome?

The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a major pathogen of shrimp and can cause high mortality in farmed shrimp. The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted through water, feces, and contact with infected shrimp.

It is a member of the family Nimaviridae and the genus Iridovirus. White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a double-stranded RNA virus. WSSV is highly infectious and can be spread through infected water, equipment, and personnel.

Shrimp farmers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of WSSV in order to take corrective action quickly if an outbreak occurs.

How Do White Spot Syndrome Virus Spread

The virus can be contracted through water, food, or physical contact with an infected fish.


The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a major pathogen of shrimp and other crustaceans. The major mode of transmission of WSSV is water.


The virus is believed to be spread through feedstuffs. Once a shrimp farm becomes infected, the virus can quickly spread through the population, leading to mass deaths.

Physical Contact

The virus is believed to spread through physical contact with infected animals, making it important for shrimp farmers to take steps to prevent its spread.

One way to help control the spread of WSSV is to ensure that all equipment and personnel are properly sanitized before entering the farm.

Signs & Symptoms of White Spot Syndrome Virus

The most common sign of WSSV is the presence of white spots on the shell and abdomen of infected shrimp. These spots are caused by the accumulation of viral particles in the cells.

-Other signs include lethargy, lack of appetite, stunted growth, and death.

-White spots are located in the internal surface of the carapace, having a diameter near 0.5 to 2 mm. These spots are within the cuticle structure and cannot be removed by scraping.

-Shrimps will aggregate or swim near the edges of the tank, coherent with the acuteness of the illness.

-Affected shrimp demonstrates anorexia and a tremendously disrupted cuticle.

-The affected shrimp’s body color could become pale or reddened. Moribund shrimp could also demonstrate a red to pink discoloration.

These spots are indicative of the virus and eventually lead to the death of the shrimp. If caught in its early stages, WSSV can be treated and the shrimp may live. You should know about the molecular mechanism of White Spot Syndrome Virus infection for proper treatment.

However, if left untreated, it will lead to 100% mortality, and the entire shrimp population may be wiped out.

Diagnosis of White Spot Syndrome

The disease can be initially observed through behavioral variations in the shrimp. Small white cysts were observed on their body.

The histopathological rapid diagnostic method and bioassays use for a definitive diagnosis.

Infected fish typically exhibit extensive accumulation of virus within the epithelial cells of the gills and gut. In advanced cases, there may also be significant inflammation and erosion of the skin.

Preventive Measures for White Spot Syndrome

The white spot syndrome (WSS) is a viral infection of shrimp that can cause high mortality rates in affected ponds. There is no cure for WSSV, so the best way to prevent the disease is to take preventive measures.

There are several preventive measures you can take to help protect your fish from white spot syndrome.

Maintain Proper Biosecurity Protocols

The most important step in preventing WSSV is to maintain good biosecurity protocols. This means implementing strict hygiene measures and using clean water and equipment.

It is also important to isolate new shrimp from existing populations until it can be confirmed that they are free of the virus.

Maintain Good Water Quality

The most important step you can take is to maintain good water quality in your aquarium.

Make sure the water is clean and free of pollutants. You should also regularly test the pH and water temperature levels in your tank.

Quarantine New Fish

Another important step is to quarantine any new fish before adding them to your tank.

If you do notice any signs of white spot syndrome, isolate the infected fish immediately and treat them with a medication approved by your veterinarian.

Treatment for White Spot Syndrome

How do you treat white spots in shrimp? There is no known cure or treatment for the disease. Prevention of the disease is through good husbandry practices and biosecurity measures.

How Do You Control WSSV?

There is no cure for WSSV and there is no effective vaccine currently available.

There are a few ways to control WSSV. The first is to destroy or burn the affected fish. This will help stop the spread of the virus.

Another way to control the spread is to keep different units of fish isolated from each other. This will help prevent the virus from spreading.

Fish White Spot Disease vs Shrimp White Sport Syndrome

The differences between white spot disease of fish and white spot syndrome disease in shrimp are,

White Spot Disease of FishWhite Spot Syndrome in Shrimp
This condition is caused by tiny parasitic ich, which can infect many different types of freshwater and saltwater fish.Shrimp white spot syndrome is a virus that affects shrimp.
It is contagious but not deadly to fish populations.It is highly contagious and can be deadly to shrimp populations.
The disease is caused by the ich parasite, and symptoms include white spots on the fish’s body, lethargy, loss of appetite, and in severe cases, death.The symptoms of this condition include small white spots on the shrimp’s shell.
Fish with white spot disease should be isolated from other fish to prevent the spread of the infection.There is no cure for this virus, so infected shrimp must be euthanized to prevent it from spreading.

Read Related Article: Ich on fish (white spot on fish)

Read Related Article: Black Spot On Fish


Can white spot disease affect humans?

Can you get a virus from shrimp or is it harmful to humans?
The answer is no. White spot disease is a virus that affects shellfish, and it is not known to cause any infections in humans.

Is white spot disease transferable?

Yes, white spot disease is transferable. It is caused by a virus and can be spread through contact with an infected animal or object, or through eating contaminated food.

The disease can be deadly to fish and can also infect other aquatic animals.

Is white spot syndrome shrimp safe to eat?

There is some debate over whether or not white spot syndrome shrimp (WSS) is safe to eat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet recommended that consumers avoid eating shrimp.

But the agency has issued a warning to retailers and processors that the disease may be present in warm-water shrimp from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America.

WSS is caused by a virus, and it can lead to death in shrimp. Infected shrimp may have small white spots on their shells, and they may be lethargic or die suddenly. The virus does not pose a risk to humans, but it can cause significant losses for the shrimp farming industry.

Do white patches in shrimp spread?

Many people are curious if white patches found in shrimp shells spread. The answer is yes, the patches can spread.

Scientists found that they may be caused by a virus. It is important to keep an eye on any white patches that develop, as they could potentially lead to infection and even death in the shrimp.

How can I get rid of shrimp white spots naturally?

There are a few things you can do to get rid of shrimp white spots naturally. One is to increase the water temperature, as this will help kill the shrimp’s white spot virus.

Final Words

In conclusion, white spot syndrome is a serious disease that can cause major losses in shrimp populations and the farming industry. There is no cure for the disease, but there are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of infection.

It is important to take steps to prevent its spread. There are currently no treatments available for white spot syndrome, so it is important to prevent its spread through good biosecurity practices.

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