First report of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) DNA in red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Germany
This work describes the first detection of WSSV genomic DNA in decapods introduced into Germany via food for human consumption. A batch of cooked, frozen, packed and labelled red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was imported into an EU member state and subsequently moved to Germany. Some individual crayfish of this batch sampled as a labelled consumer package during an official routine food control showed signs of White spot disease at food inspection. To confirm the presence or absence of White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) DNA, PCR analysis was performed. All samples of affected red swamp crayfish tested positive for WSSV DNA. The food batch was immediately blocked by the competent veterinary authority and destroyed. Although the introduction of infectious WSSV into the EU could be ruled out this case indicates the risk of global trading and the importance of appropriate border controls in order to prevent the introduction of listed or emerging aquatic animal diseases via consignments of products of aquatic animal origin.