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http://journals.cambridge.org Downloaded: 02 Sep 2009 IP address: Cytotoxicity of quahog parasite unknown (QPX)

Summary: http://journals.cambridge.org Downloaded: 02 Sep 2009 IP address:
Cytotoxicity of quahog parasite unknown (QPX)
toward hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria) haemocytes
and interactions between different pathogen isolates
and host strains
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook. NY 11794-5000, USA
(Received 20 February 2009; revised 27 May 2009; accepted 28 May 2009; first published online 23 July 2009)
The ability of pathogens to neutralize host defence mechanisms represents a fundamental requisite in the successful
establishment of an infection. Host-pathogen interactions between quahog parasite unknown (QPX) and its hard clam host
are poorly understood. Our prior in vivo investigations have shown that different QPX isolates display varying levels of
pathogenicity toward clams. Similarly, field investigations and laboratory transmission studies revealed some variations in
the susceptibility of different hard clam stocks to QPX infection. An in vitro approach was developed in this study to
evaluate the toxicity of QPX cells and extracellular products toward haemocytes using a neutral red uptake assay. Results
demonstrated that QPX produces virulence factors that are cytotoxic to M. mercenaria haemocytes. This cytotoxicity
appears to be induced by clam factors, suggesting that it may play an important role in supporting QPX infection and
proliferation within the host. Moreover, application of this technique to different QPX isolates and clam broodstocks
indicates variations of QPX cytotoxicity in agreement with previous in vivo experiments, strengthening the existence of
different QPX strains.


Source: Allam, Bassem - School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY at Stony Brook


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology