White tail disease (WTD) of cultured Macrobrachium rosenbergii is caused by M. rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV) and an extra small virus (XSV), both present together, and the mortality rate can be as high as 100% within 2 or 3 days of infection. Possible protection of M. rosenbergii against WTD by oral administration of bacterial expressed and encapsulated double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) was studied. Juvenile M. rosenbergii were fed with the feed coated with inactivated bacteria encapsulated dsRNA of MrNV and XSV genes individually and in combination for 7 days followed by challenge with WTD causing agents at 24 h and 72 h post-feeding. Test animals fed with a combination of dsRNA of MrNV and XSV capsid genes showed the highest relative percent survival (RPS) when compared to other treatments with RPS of 80% and 75% at 24 and 72 h respectively. One hundred percent mortality was observed in test animals fed with control dsRNA coated feed. Although in the literature, injection is the most common method used to deliver dsRNA, this study shows that oral administration is effective, feasible and economical.
Keywords: Macrobrachium rosenbergii; MrNV; RNAi; XSV; dsRNA.
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