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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 979381, 4 pages
Research Article

Experimental Infection and Detection of Necrotizing Hepatopancreatitis Bacterium in the American Lobster Homarus americanus

1Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C., P.O. Box 1735, 83304 Hermosillo, SON, Mexico
2Aquaculture Department, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Avenida Centenario No. 53, 83000 Hermosillo, SON, Mexico

Received 16 October 2011; Accepted 15 January 2012

Academic Editor: Kunitoshi Imai

Copyright © 2012 Luz A. Avila-Villa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Necrotizing hepatopancreatitis bacterium (NHPB) is an obligated intracellular bacteria causing severe hepatopancreatic damages and mass mortalities in penaeid shrimp. The worldwide distribution of penaeid shrimp as alien species threatens the life cycle of other crustacean species. The aim of the experiment was to evaluate the possibility of experimentally infecting the American lobster (Homarus americanus) with NHPB extracted from shrimp hepatopancreas. Homogenates from infected shrimp were fed by force to lobsters. Other group of lobsters was fed with homogenates of NHPB-free hepatopancreas. After the 15th day from initial inoculation, the presence of NHPB was detected by polymerase chain reaction in feces and hepatopancreas from lobsters inoculated with infected homogenates. Necrotized spots were observed in the surface of lobster hepatopancreas. In contrast, lobsters fed on NHPB-free homogenates resulted negative for NHPB. Evidence suggests the plasticity of NHPB which can infect crustacean from different species and inhabiting diverse latitudes. Considering the results, the American lobster could be a good candidate to maintain available NHPB in vivo.