White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is the only virus of the genus Whispovirus and is not thought to be related to any other known viruses. It is a rod-shaped, double-stranded, DNA virus with a virion size of 240-380nm long. WSSV is the causative agent of white spot syndrome in all decapod crustaceans, including prawns, lobsters and crabs, and was first reported in an epidemic in Taiwan in 1992. This virus exists in the natural environment in fresh, brackish and marine water but appears to only be a problem in farmed species. Transmission of the virus can occur either horizontally through oral ingestion of sick or dying prawns or contaminated water in farms or vertically from infected parents in hatcheries. Other organisms such as rotifers, marine molluscs, polychaete worms and non-decapodal crustaceans can act as vectors for infection and water-bourne viruses can persist in seawater for up to 30 days. The most notable signs of the disease are white calcium spots embedded in the carapace but other symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite and floating of dying prawns at the water surface. WSSV can cause high rates of mortality, upwards of 80%, in farmed penaeid shrimp and so fast and accurate detection by real-time PCR can have economic benefits in the food industry.
The Primerdesign genesig Kit for White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) genomes is designed for the in vitro quantification of WSSV genomes. The kit is designed to have the broadest detection profile possible whilst remaining specific to the WSSV genome. The primers and probe sequences in this kit have 100% homology with a broad range of WSSV sequences based on a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis.
genesig® kits are sold for research use only and are not licensed for diagnostic procedures.