The infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV), pathogenic for penaeid shrimp, is an icosahedral unenveloped particle, 22 nm in diameter, with an ssDNA linear genome, and proposed to be a member of the Parvoviridae. A large majority of minus-strand DNA is incorporated into the capsids compared to the plus-strand. A small amount of reannealed plus- and minus-strands (dsDNA) obtained after nucleic acid extraction was blunt-ended and cloned into the system pUC18/ strain DH5α. Selected clones were studied and characterized using restriction enzymes. One of them, BQ31, was used to construct different sized probes labelled with digoxigenin-11-dUTP. These probes failed to hybridize with DNA of some insect parvoviruses and with DNA of a parvo-like virus of shrimp. They reacted strongly with dilutions of homogenized IHHNV-infected shrimp tissues and, conversely, did not react with uninfected shrimp tissues. They hybridized , in sections of infected animals, labelling strongly the target cells and particularly the nuclear Cowdry type A inclusion body, which is the most diagnostic characteristic of this disease.


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