This project aims to :
1. provide a better understanding of bivalve-pathogen interactions
2. identify environmental factors, which modulate shellfish internal defence by using biological models developed by the partners
3. use the above information for prediction and management of the impact of disease on cultivated stocks.
As the stress generated by acute or long-term changes in environmental factors may have an effect on the interaction between hosts and pathogens in shellfish populations, the following fundamental questions will be addressed:
- Are the seasonal or occasional changes in infection or parasitism levels which are actually observed in cultured stocks related to measurable changes in host defence mechanisms?
- Which mechanisms in the defence process are targets for environmental immunosuppressors?
- Could the measurement of individual defence capacities become a tool for risk assessment and stock management?
METHODOLOGIES AND RESEARCH TASKS
Two models will be studied in parallel since previous work by the partners suggests that these models will provide important information on complementary steps in the pathogenic process. The bonamiosis model (Ostrea edulis / Bonamia ostreae = Oe/Bo) involves an internal parasite (Bo) and current investigations are focused on host (Oe) susceptibility and specificity at the cellular level. Vibriosis (Ruditapes philippinarum / Vibrio tapetis = Rp/Vt) is a true infectious disease clearly influenced by environmental factors and well adapted to epizootic monitoring. Each model provides an experimental system for investigation of a range of biological processes, from the overall susceptibility of individuals to immune cellular responses in hemolymph.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
17390 La Tremblade
G12 8QQ Glasgow