Testing retail commodities for the presence of Taura Syndrome Virus and Yellow head Virus I

Project Number:



Future Fisheries Veterinary Service Pty Ltd (FFVS)

Principal Investigator:

Matt A. Landos

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:





The Australian prawn farming industry has been fortunate to remain free from many of the serious viral diseases which have decimated prawn farms internationally. It had been free from WSSV until it hit the Logan River farms in late 2016. Pathways for movement of disease have been described through the movement of commodities destined for human consumption, such as uncooked prawns. Diversion of such commodities through use as bait or berley by anglers has the potential to generate a release pathway that could see these disease enter prawn farms via their intake of water, or through use of wild broodstock who may develop sub-clinical infections. Recent surveys have suggested that recreational angler use of supermarket origin uncooked prawns for bait has increased, even though such commodities are labelled that they are intended for human consumption only, and are specifically not to be used for bait. Knowledge of the risks associated with uncooked prawn importations will assist the industry in contributing to the review of the Import Risk Assessment of uncooked crustacean which is currently underway. Data from this testing will also assist farmers in relation to making risk based decisions around major capital expenditure on farms to increase biosecurity and surveillance.


1. Generate data on the PCR test status of imported uncooked prawns at retail in relation to Taura Syndrome Virus and Yellow Head Virus 1, to support Australian Prawn Farmers Association submission to the review of the Commonwealth Import Risk Assessment of uncooked crustacea