What is PaV1?

  • TEM of PaV1 viral particles.
  • Juvenile Caribbean spiny lobster heavily infected with PaV1. Note the fouling of the carapace.
  • Diseased vs. Healthy Comparison: The lobster on the left in this shot is healthy while the one on the right is in the last stages of PaV1. During this time the hemolymph turns from clear/amber to white, as you can see in the middle syringes.
  • Spiny lobsters heavily infected with PaV1 become lethargic and incapable of rapid escape maneuvers.
Above: Video about PaV1 from a National Science Foundation "Science Nation" article on PaV1 here
  • Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1) was discovered infecting juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters in 2000
  • PaV1 was first discovered in the Florida Keys but has since been reported throughout much of the Caribbean Sea.
  • PaV1 is a pathogenic virus and typically lethal within weeks or months for infected juvenile lobsters, but declines among larger juveniles and adults.
  • Adult lobsters can be infected, but are typically asymptomatic.
  • Documented natural modes of transmission include contact, ingestion, and waterborne, for the smallest lobster size classes.
  • In some months up to 30% of the postlarval lobsters arriving in Florida from offshore are infected with PaV1, but are asymptomatic.
  • The fluctuating monthly pattern of PaV1 prevalence in postlarvae arriving in the Florida Keys suggests that there is a discontinuous supply of larvae from infected and non-infected Caribbean sources “upstream” of the Florida Keys, which probably receives larvae from throughout the Caribbean.
  • This scenario is consistent with genetic studies and modeling that demonstrate the strong oceanographic connection between lobster populations in the Florida Keys and the greater Caribbean.

Funding Agencies

PaV1 Prevalence

The prevalence of PaV1 varies among regions of the Caribbean, but is most prevalent in the northwest Caribbean (e.g., Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Florida). Prevalence of PaV1 has remained steady for over a decade (mean: 5 - 7%) at sites in the Florida Keys, but local prevalence can reach > 60% at some locations. Moreover, this mean prevalence only accounts for visible infections. When measured using a PCR assay, prevalence is often an order of magnitude higher.

2010 - 2011 PaV1 Prevalence Map

This map shows the prevalence of PaV1 (Panulirus argus Virus 1) among adult lobsters from around the Caribbean. All samples were collected between 2009-2011. Samples were hemolyph (blood), analyzed for infection using PCR. This research was funded through a research grant from the US National Science Foundation and Florida Sea Grant.

The PaV1 Research Team

Since our discovery of the disease, we have taken a multi-disciplinary approach to the research on the P. argus – PaV1 pathosystem by: developing molecular techniques for detecting the virus; examining its pathology in lobsters; testing its possible modes of transmission, and by documenting how PaV1 affects lobster behavior and juvenile lobster population dynamics. With regard to the effect of PaV1 on the Florida lobster fishery, we have determined that the presence of infected lobsters in traps can reduce trap catch and may increase transmission of disease within the commercial lobster fishery.
,br />


Publications on PaV1 from Colleagues at Other Research Labs:

  • Briones-Fourzán P, Baeza-Martínez K, Lozano-Álvarez E (2009) Nutritional indices of juvenile Caribbean spiny lobsters in a Mexican reef lagoon: Are changes over a 10-year span related to the emergence of Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1)? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 370:82-88
  • Briones-Fourzán P, Candia-Zulbarán RI, Negrete-Soto F, Barradas-Ortiz C, Huchin-Mian JP, Lozano-Álvarez E (2012) Influence of local habitat features on avoidance of disease by Caribbean spiny lobsters in a casita-enhanced bay. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 100: 135-148.
  • Candia-Zulbarán RI, Briones-Fourzán P, Lozano-Álvarez E (2012) Variability in clinical prevalence of PaV1 in Caribbean spiny lobsters occupying commercial casitas over a large bay in Mexico. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 100: 125-133.
  • Cruz-Quintana Y, Silveira-Coffigny R, Rodríguez-Canul R, Vidal-Martínez VM (2011) First evidence of Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1) in spiny lobster from Cuba and a clinical estimation of its prevalence. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 93: 141-147.
  • Huchin-Mian JP, Briones-Fourzán P, Simá-Álvarez R, Cruz-Quintana Y, Pérez-Vega JA, Lozano-Álvarez E, Pascual-Jiménez C, Rodríguez-Canul R (2009) Detection of Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1) in exported frozen tails of subadult-adult Caribbean spiny lobsters Panulirus argus. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 86:159-162.
  • Huchin-Mian JP, Rodríguez-Canul R, Arias-Baňuelos E, Simá-Álvarez R, Briones-Fourzán P, Lozano-Álvarez E (2008) Presence of Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1) in juvenile spiny lobsters Panulirus argus from the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 79:153-156.
  • Lozano-Álvarez E, Briones-Fourzán P, Ramírez-Estévez A, Placencia-Sánchez D, Huchin-Mian JP, Rodríguez-Canul R (2008) Prevalence of Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1) and habitation patterns of healthy and diseased Caribbean spiny lobsters in shelter-limited habitats. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 80: 95-104.
  • Pascual-Jiménez C, Huchin-Mian JP, Simões Nuno, Briones-Fourzán P, Lozano-Álvarez E, Sánchez-Arteaga A, Pérez-Vega JA, Simá-Álvarez R, Rosas-Vazquez C, Rodríguez-Canul R (2012) Physiological and immunological characterization of Caribbean spiny lobsters (Panulirus argus) naturally infected with Panulirus argus Virus 1 (PaV1). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 100: 113-124.