Shrimp Diseases

WSSV or White Spot Disease As The Main Cause of Shrimp Productivity Decrease

Shofii Amaliah Putri
Shofii Amaliah Putri
26 October 2023
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Get to know the common symptoms of White Spot Disease

White Spot Disease is a highly dreaded disease among shrimp farmers. This disease is caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), which comes from the Nimaviridae family and Whispovirus genus (Rukisah et al. 2019). WSSV is often found among vannamei and giant tiger shrimp farms, especially in farming conditions with fluctuating temperature and poor salinity (Lantu 2010).

White Spot Disease infects shrimps in the Post Larva (PL) 40g stage and results in 100% lethality 3-10 days after clinical symptoms (Rahma et al. 2014) The virus spreads rapidly both vertically (from shrimp to larva) and horizontally (via water, sediments, feed, and pests (Kono et al. 2004).

Shrimp infected with WSSV can be detected from loss of appetite, darkened body, white spots on its carapace, swimming in groups near the water surface, reduced activity, and disturbed intestinal microbiota (Yanti et al. 2017, Aulia et al. 2019). White spots first appear in the 5th and 6th cephalothorax segment from the abdomen which then spread to the shrimp’s whole body (Kilawati dan Maimunah 2015).

Early detection of WSSV helps to prevent the spread and subsequently large scale farm loss. Identification can be done through morphological observation or molecular tests such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (Yanti et al. 2017).

How to handle WSSV or White Spot Disease?

If shrimp in a farm has been infected with WSSV, the farmer may partially harvest them and separate healthy and infected shrimp. Shrimp with light WSSV infection might still survive with slowed growth. Further outbreak might occur in poor pond water conditions, which cause stress to shrimp (Rukisah 2019).

There has not been any effective treatment against WSSV, but a research by Citarasu et al. (2006) discovered that feed containing some herbal plants (C. dactilon, Aegle marmelos, T. cardivolia, P. kurooa and E. alba) or 0.4% honey (Widanarni et al. 2019) may increase immune response and resistance in vannamei shrimp against WSSV.

WSSV or White Spot Disease Prevention

White spot disease prevention can be done directly or indirectly. Direct prevention involves the use of SPF/SPR shrimp stocks, proper farming management which implements biosecurity, and avoiding the use of live feed. Indirect prevention includes regular farm monitoring (Rukisah et al. 2019).

About the author

The author of this article is Shofii Amaliah Putri, a 7th semester student from the Aquaculture Department of IPB University. Shofii is 21 years old and lives in Tuban, East Java. She's deeply passionate about health and disease prevention in aquatic animals.


Aulia AMS, Budi DS, Fasya AH, Kenconojati H, Azhar MH. 2019. Deteksi virus pada udang vaname (Litopenaeus vannamei) di Balai Karantina Ikan, Pengendalian Mutu, dan Keamanan Hasil Perikanan Surabaya I. Journal of Aquaculture Science. 4(2): 83-90.

Edison DP. 2009. Pengaruh Suhu, pH, dan Salinitas yang Berbeda terhadap Aktifitas Biologis Imunoglobulin Y Anti WSSV (lgY Anti-WSSV) [Skripsi]. Bogor (ID): Institut Pertanian Bogor.

Kilawati Y, Maimunah Y. 2015. Kualitas lingkungan tambak intensif Litopenaeus vannamei dalam kaitannya dengan prevalensi penyakit White spot Syndrome Virus. Research Journal of Life Science. 2(1): 50-59.

Kono T, Savan R, Itami T. 2004. Detection of White Spot Syndrome Virus in shrimp by loop-mediated isothermal amplification. J. Virol. Methods.115 :59-65. 

Lantu S. 2010. Osmoregulasi pada Hewan Akuatik. Jurnal Perikanan dan Kelautan. 6(1): 46-50.

Lilisuriani. 2020. Serangan penyakit virus pada udang di tambak tanpa meperlihatkan gejala klinis. Octopus: Jurnal Ilmu Perikanan. 9(1): 25-32.

Rahma HN, Prayitno SB, Haditomo AHC. 2014. Infeksi White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) pada udang windu (Penaeus monodon Fabr.) yang dipelihara pada salinitas media yang berbeda. Journal of Aquaculture Management and Technology. 3(3): 25-34.

Rukisah, Satriani GI, Rasyid R. 2019. Monitoring penyakit WSSV pada budidaya udang windu (Penaeus monodon) di tambak tradisional Kota Tarakan. 12(2): 89-95.

Widanarni, Gustilatov M, Sukenda, Utami DAS. 2019. Pemanfaatan madu untuk meningkatkan respons imun dan resistensi udang vaname (Litopenaeus vannamei) terhadap infeksi White Spot Syndrome Virus. Jurnal Riset Akuakultur. 14(1): 59-69.

Yanti MEG, Herliany NE, Negara BFSP, Utami MAF. 2017. Deteksi molekuler White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) pada udang vaname (Litopenaeus vannamei) di PT.Hasfam Inti Sentosa. Jurnal Enggano. 2(2): 156-169.

[BSN] Badan Standardisasi Nasional. 2015. SNI 8114:2015. [diakses 2022 Juni 20]; Detail SNI (

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