White spot disease (WSD) is a pandemic disease caused by a virus commonly known as white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). Several risk factors for WSD outbreaks have been suggested. However, there have been very few studies to identify risk factors for WSD outbreaks in culture systems. This paper presents and discusses the risk factors for WSSV infection identified during a longitudinal observational study conducted in a Vietnamese rice-shrimp farming system. A total of 158 variables were measured comprising location, features of the pond, management practices, pond bottom quality, shrimp health and other animals in the pond. At the end of the study period WSSV was detected in 15 of the 24 ponds followed through the production cycle (62.5%). One hundred and thirty-nine variables were used in univariate analyses. All the variables with a p-value ≤0.10 were used in unconditional logistic regression in a forward stepwise model. An effect of location was identified in both univariate and multiv analyses showing that ponds located in the eastern portion of the study site, closer to the sea, were more likely to test positive for WSSV by 1-step PCR at harvest. Ponds with shrimp of a smaller average size 1 mo after stocking tended to be positive for WSSV at the end of the production cycle. Average weight at 1 mo was also highlighted in multivariate analyses when considered as either a risk factor or an outcome. Other risk factors identified in univariate analyses were earlier date of stocking and use of commercial feed. A number of variables also appeared to be associated with a reduced risk of WSSV at harvest including the presence of dead post larvae in the batch sampled at stocking, presence of Hemigrapsus spp. crabs during the first month of production, feeding vitamin premix or legumes, presence of high numbers of shrimp with bacterial infection and the presence of larger mud crabs or gobies at harvest. No associations were detected with WSSV at harvest and stocking density, presence, or number or weight of wild shrimp in the pond. The multivariate model to identify outcomes associated with WSSV infection highlighted the presence of high mortality as the main variable explaining the data. The results obtained from this study are discussed in the context of WSD control and areas requiring further investigation are suggested.
Corsin, F.; Hao, N.V.; Mohan, C.V.; Morgan, K.L.; Phi, T.T.; Phuoc, L.H.; Tinh, N.T.N.; Turnbull, J.F. Risk factors associated with white spot syndrome virus infection in a Vietnamese rice-shrimp farming system. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms (2001) 47: 1-12. [DOI: 10.3354/dao047001]