Submitted to: Central American Symposium on Aquaculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 16, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Disease problems have grown proportionally with the intensive culture of shrimp worldwide. Intensive stocking density, use of infected carriers and facilities, and water quality management are among the reasons for disease problems. However, the most important reason for the greater susceptibility of shrimp to disease may be that their mechanism of resistance is weakened under intensive culture conditions. Beta-glucan, an immunostimulant, is being fed to shrimp to enhance disease resistance. The results of this attempt for the enhancement of disease resistance have been mixed.
Technical Abstract: Shrimp possess restricted ability to mount an immune response (humoral and cellular) to infection. Humoral and immunoeffector molecules important in shrimp immunity are lectins, agglutinins, lysozyme and serine protease. The immunoreactive cells are non-granular, semi-granular and granular hemocytes. The immune system of shrimp lacks specific immunity and memory, both important for acquired immunity in higher animals. Beta-glucan has been used with limited success to try to enhance non-specific resistance in shrimp. Genetic enhancement of non-specific defense mechanisms and better feeding, water quality and disease management appear to be the future of disease control in intensive shrimp culture.