Pacific white shrimp Penaeus vannamei that were pre-exposed to Taura syndrome virus (TSV) and then challenged with yellow head virus (YHV) acquired partial protection from yellow head disease (YHD). Experimental infections were carried out using specific-pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp which were first exposed per os to TSV; at 27, 37 and 47 d post infection they were then challenged by injection with 1 × 104 copies of YHV per shrimp (designated the TSV-YHV group). Shrimp not infected with TSV were injected with YHV as a positive control. Survival analyses comparing the TSV-YHV and YHV (positive control) groups were conducted, and significant survival rates were found for all the time groups (p < 0.001). A higher final survival was found in the TSV-YHV group (mean 55%) than in the positive control (0%) (p < 0.05). Duplex reverse transcription quantitative PCR was used to quantify both TSV and YHV. Lower YHV copy numbers were found in the TSV-YHV group than in the positive control in pleopods (3.52 × 109 vs. 1.88 × 1010 copies µg RNA-1) (p < 0.001) and lymphoid organ (LO) samples (3.52 × 109 vs. 1.88 × 1010 copies µg RNA-1) (p < 0.01). In situ hybridization assays were conducted, and differences in the distribution of the 2 viruses in the target tissues were found. The foci of LO were infected with TSV but were not infected with YHV. This study suggests that a viral interference effect exists between TSV and YHV, which could, in part, explain the absence of YHD in the Americas, where P. vannamei are often raised in farms where TSV is present.