Apologies (was Taura virus)

Sean Stevens stevens at rockvax.rockefeller.edu
Tue Jun 20 23:02:58 EST 1995

kfischer at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca (Karl Fischer) wrote:
>Shrimp....I missed the shrimp statement!! Sigh!
>May I be boiled and served with garlic butter.
>Karl Fischer
>kfischer at gpu.srv.ualberta.ca
>tyr-2 at bones.biochem.ualberta.ca

No problem, Karl! But to the issue at hand-I have received several 
e-mails, some of which asked whether I am spelling the name correctly. 
thus far all I have to go on is the NY Times article which precipitated 
this whole thing. It was in the June 14 issue on page A16 (Not even the 
science section-actually national news! Probably because of the economic 
impact.) the title being "Virus imperils Texas shrimp farms" by sam Howe 
Verhovek (sorry, but right now I am seeing Bubba in Forrest Gump and all 
his recipes). In it are the following statements:

"A virus of mysterious origin, first detected in Ecuador three years 
ago, has wiped out the largest shrimp-farming area in the United States, 
destroying $11 million worth of shrimp in a matter of days...the virus 
is moving up the Gulf Coast, and just this week hit shrimp farms in 
Matagorda County, more than 200 miles north of here." (Laguna Madre)


"The native Texas brown and white shrimp are demonstrating a resistance 
to the virus that the cultivated shrimp used in farms, Pacific white 
shrimp, do not."


"Still, the virus, named the Taura virus after the river in Ecuador 
where it was discovered, is an enigma in many respects." (One of which 
being why I can't find this name in the literature)


"The virus is often called "la colita roja," Spanish for "little red 
tail." It turns shrimp tails a pinkish color and kills within days."

Several issues playing into this are the concerns that this will wipe 
out the industry and perhaps mutate into a virus that could equally 
affect the native shrimp. There are evidently some allegations of 
sabotage by unidentified rivals (overseas?). The manner in which the 
spread occurs is unclear because it seems to 'jump' from place to place, 
perhaps suggesting a dormancy of some sort.

That's what I have so far. I am looking up some of the info folks have 
sent me by e-mail, and when I find more I'll post it here for the 
edification of all. Thanks for all the help and interest (intriguing 


Sean Stevens  The Rockefeller University

stevens at rockvax.rockefeller.edu

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