Yellowhead disease in shrimp (YHD) is restricted to some shrimp species, including black tiger shrimp and white shrimp. It often breaks out in shrimp that are 30 days old or older, especially in volatile weather conditions, when seasons change, and in coastal areas with high salinity.

The causes of yellow head disease

YHD is transmitted by an intermediate host that introduces the pathogen into and infects the shrimp population in ponds. Diseases caused by rod-shaped viruses including:

  • Yellowhead virus (YHV): Shrimp’s carapace and gills turn pale yellow;
  • Gill-associated virus (GAV): Shrimp turn from pink to yellow on the tail, cephalothorax and gills;
  • Lymphoid organ virus (LOV): present in the blood cells of shrimp;

Yellowhead disease

Yellowhead Disease

and at least four other unidentified viruses. The YHV virus is found mainly in Asia, whereas the CLA virus is more common in Australian growing regions and also causes relatively less severe forms of the disease.

Symptoms of the disease

Disease may appear 20 days after stocking, most commonly toward the end of the rearing period (60-70 days) in ponds. During the early incubation period, shrimp eat more than usual for a few days, then many shrimp suddenly stop eating and show symptoms:

On the first day, some animals show signs of lethargy and swim disoriented to the surface of the pond. If you look closely, you can see that the shrimp is pale, the cephalothorax is bulging and yellow. Its gills and liver are pale yellow;

On the second day, the number of diseased shrimp increased rapidly and they died.

Within 3 to 5 days after the onset of the disease, the mortality rate gradually increases up to 100%.

Disease prevention

Sofar, there is no effective treatment or vaccination method for yellow head disease in shrimp. Therefore, it is necessary to take good preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection, namely:

  • At the preparatory stage, it is necessary to check the pond thoroughly and kill bacteria
  • Treat and filter sediment thoroughly before supplying to ponds;
  • Select shrimp seed from a reputable source with a certificate of disease-freeness through PCR testing;
  • Using VII FARM combo to add essential vitamins and minerals to the diet to help shrimp strengthen the immune system and fight pathogens;
  • Periodic use of Yeast to treat aquatic environments VII FARM improves water quality and at the same time inhibits harmful microorganisms.

In case of abnormal signs, a mobile PCR machine should be used to check and accurately identify the disease. If shrimp are infected with yellow head disease, farmers should harvest immediately to avoid damage, or remove and treat pond water if shrimp are too small, not worth harvesting.

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