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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI - Vol. 15 - Feature article
Oysters exposed to a virus show increased viral shedding if they have inherently higher growth rate and are exposed to high temperature and food levels.

Image credit: Fabrice Pernet, Ifremer

Petton B, Alunno-Bruscia M, Mitta G, Pernet F

Increased growth metabolism promotes viral infection in susceptible oyster population

Petton and colleagues hypothesized that disease susceptibility and epidemic risk indirectly depend on growth-promoting factors that affect the host. The underlying premise is that obligate pathogens like viruses depend on the cellular machinery of the host to replicate, so any increase in the host's cell division increases the proliferation of the pathogen. To test this hypothesis, several lines of Pacific oysters with varying growth rates were acclimated to different food levels and temperatures and then exposed to a virus. Boosting growth through higher temperature and food levels, or using faster-growing animals, increased disease-induced mortality and viral shedding. This validates the original hypothesis and provides insight for the management of diseases based on the manipulation of the host metabolism.


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