The pathogenicity of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) for the red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii) was investigated after infection by intramuscular (i.m.) injection and oral route. The cumulative mortality of crawfish injected i.m. with WSSV reached 100% in 5 days. After oral feeding WSSV-infected kuruma shrimp (Penaeus japonicus) muscle tissues to the crawfish the cumulative mortality of this host reached 100% in 11 days. On reinfection trials, all the crawfish fed WSSV-infected crawfish muscle tissues died in 9 days. All the shrimp injected with a filtrate of infected crawfish heart tissues died in 12 days with typical signs of white spot syndrome (WSS). Electron microscopy clearly demonstrated that WSSV propagated in the cells of the crawfish midgut. This study showed that the red swamp crawfish can be used as alternative experimental host in the study of WSSV.