White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a shrimp pathogen responsible for significant economic loss in commercial shrimp farms and until now, there has been no effective approach to control this disease. In this study, tryptophol (indole-3-ethanol) was identified as a metabolite involved in bacteriophage–thermophile interactions. The dietary addition of tryptophol reduced the mortality in shrimp Marsupenaeus japonicus when orally challenged with WSSV. Our results revealed that 50 mg/kg tryptophol has a better protective effect in shrimp than 10 or 100 mg/kg tryptophol. WSSV copies in shrimp were reduced significantly (P < 0.01) when supplemented with 50 mg/kg tryptophol, indicating that virus replication was inhibited by tryptophol. Consequently, tryptophol represents an effective antiviral dietary supplement for shrimp, and thus holds significant promise as a novel and efficient therapeutic approach to control WSSV in shrimp aquaculture.