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Advances in mollusk parasite culturing methods drives research
Date:7/8/2014

Certain parasite species such as Perkinsus marinus, Perkinsus olseni, Marteilia refringens, Bonamia ostreae and Bonamia exitiosa infect abalones, clams, mussels, oyster, and scallops around the world and cause mass mortalities that are especially devastating for aquacultures and commercial harvesting.

The researchers systematically analyzed the literature and found that advances in parasite purification and culture methodologies positively increased publication rates, which often resulted in new molecular tools and resources. Cultures have accelerated screening for drugs effective against specific parasites, and identified mechanisms that parasites use to enter, survive, multiply, and, eventually, kill oysters. Because of what has been learned, scientists are now able to characterize parasite strains from different locations in the United States, helping to define under what circumstances a strain may become virulent and to identify oyster strains that can be resistant to resident parasites.

This study is the first to provide a side-by-side comparison of the publication records for the four main genera of protozoan parasites affecting mollusks. Its conclusions may be used as tool to help researchers fine-tune their research projects to gain continued funding, for students entering the field to narrow their research focus, and for state and local agencies to prioritize research efforts and funds It also shows that early efforts supporting the development of cultures methodologies (basic science) results in a large body of knowledge toward new intervention strategies against disease (applied science).


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Contact: Darlene Crist
dtcrist@bigelow.org
207-315-2567 x103
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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