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Publication Title

Diseases of Aquatic Organisms








The pathogenic virus Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1) was first discovered in Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus from the Florida Keys (USA) in 1999 and has since been reported in Belize, Mexico, and Cuba; its distribution in the wider Caribbean is unknown. We collected tissue samples from adult spiny lobsters from 30 locations in 14 countries bordering the Caribbean Sea and used molecular diagnostics to assay for the presence of PaV1. PaV1 occurred primarily in the northern areas of the Caribbean, where its prevalence was highest. The virus was not found in lobsters from the southeastern Caribbean, and its prevalence was lowest in the southwestern Caribbean. DNA sequence analysis was performed on a fragment of the viral DNA to examine the genetic diversity of PaV1 on a Caribbean-wide scale. Sequence variation in the viral DNA fragment was high, with 61 unique alleles identified from 9 areas. The sharing of viral alleles in lobsters from distant locations supports the hypothesis of a strong genetic connectivity among lobsters within the Caribbean, and further supports the hypothesis that postlarvae infected with PaV1 may serve to disperse the virus over long distances.

Original Publication Citation

Moss, J., Behringer, D., Shields, J.D., Baeza, A., Aguilar-Perera, A., Bush, P.G., . . . Butler, M.J. (2013). Distribution, prevalence, and genetic analysis of Panulirus argus virus 1 (pav1) from the Caribbean Sea. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 104(2), 129-140. doi: 10.3354/dao02589