DAO 59:249-262 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao059249

Effect of temperature on defense parameters in Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum challenged with Vibrio tapetis

Christine Paillard*, Bassem Allam, Radouane Oubella

Laboratoire des Sciences de l¹Environnement Marin, Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Place Copernic, Technopole Brest-Iroise, 29280 Plouzané, France

ABSTRACT: Brown Ring Disease (BRD), a vibriosis affecting the clam Ruditapes philippinarum, is present on the Atlantic coasts of Western Europe and is considered to be a cold water disease. The present work investigated the effect of temperature on immune response and its relationships with BRD development. Clams maintained at different temperatures (8, 14 and 21°C) were experimentally challenged with the pathogen Vibrio tapetis, the etiologic agent of BRD. Results demonstrated significant effects of temperature on disease development and on hemolymph immune parameters including total and viable hemocyte counts, lysozyme and leucine aminopeptidase activities. Thirty days after challenge, clams maintained at 21°C displayed significantly higher values for all the measured immune parameters in comparison to specimens incubated at 14°C. Improved performance of the immune system was associated with a low BRD prevalence. The recovery process, which occured mainly at 21°C, was associated with high percentages of viable hemocytes and high activities of leucine amino-peptidase and lysozyme. This laboratory study clearly demonstrates that temperature strongly affects BRD development and clam immune response during infection. Favourable immune status at higher temperature may confer upon the clam a better capacity to fight the disease agent, and therefore to recover more easily.

KEY WORDS: Immunomodulation · Temperature · Hemocyte · Leucine aminopeptidase · Lysozyme · Disease · Clam · Vibrio

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