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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Solar UV radiation modulates animal health and pathogen prevalence in coastal habitats – knowledge gaps and implications for bivalve aquaculture

Gary F. Kett*, Sarah C. Culloty, Sharon A. Lynch, Marcel A. K. Jansen

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is an important environmental factor which can impact directly, or indirectly, on the health of organisms. UVR also has the potential to inactivate pathogens in surface waters. As a result, UVR can alter host-pathogen relationships. Bivalve species are threatened by various pathogens. Here, we assessed the impacts of UVR on i) bivalves, ii) bivalve pathogens and iii) the bivalve host–pathogen relationship. UVR consistently impedes pathogens. However, the effect of UVR on marine animals is variable with both positive and negative impacts. The limited available data allude to the potential to exploit natural UVR for disease management in aquaculture, but also highlight a striking knowledge gap and uncertainty relating to climate change.